The Tax Agency to strengthen taxpayer assistance with a pilot project on VAT draft and tax data transmission in corporations

The Strategic Plan of the Tax Agency 2019-2022

 

  • ADIs will be created, which are centres that offer comprehensive assistance to taxpayers by telephone and internet, within the framework of a Strategic Plan drawn up as a key instrument in the Agency’s decision-making in the medium and long term
  • Codes of good practice for SMEs and the self-employed will be agreed with organisations representing these groups, with which work will also be done on measures to combat the black economy
  • A set of indicators will make it possible to evaluate the Agency’s performance in areas such as the widening of tax bases generated by its assistance, prevention and control work
  • An Advisory Committee on Ethics will be set up to advise officials on the practical application of the Tax Agency Code of Conduct

24 October 2019- The Tax Agency finalises the Strategic Plan 2019-2022, a document that will be a key instrument in decision making in the coming years.The plan aims to provide the organisation with a clear vision of the strategies to be followed and measures to be taken in the medium and long term, also aligning the allocation of technical and human resources with the priorities identified.It is, in any case, an open document and therefore subject to possible modification in the light of future new needs and priorities.

In the Strategic Plan, the Agency establishes a series of pillars around which its actions in the period 2019-2022 should be focused, moving towards a new model of comprehensive assistance and control a priori to improve taxpayers’ voluntary compliance, while at the same time intensifying actions to combat the most complex tax fraud.

VAT draft and tax information in Companies

In the area of assistance, two short-term projects are envisaged in the areas of VAT and corporation tax.In the case of VAT, a pilot project will be launched to provide a tax return draft, in principle to a small number of taxpayers within the total included in the Immediate Provision of Information, the SII.

In the case of companies, and also taking in this case the traditional reference of personal income tax, next year (Companies 2019) a similar strategy will start involving the transfer of tax data to the taxpayer during the annual corporate tax campaign.In both cases, the aim is to facilitate the submission of declarations and thus encourage voluntary compliance.

ADIs, the future of digital assistance to taxpayers

In the area of assistance and prevention, it is worth highlighting, in turn, the commitment to the creation of Comprehensive Digital Assistance Administrations (ADI), care centres that will complement the traditional face-to-face assistance offices, but in this case with exclusive dedication to attention and assistance to taxpayers by electronic and telephone means.

This model, which represents a qualitative leap in taxpayer assistance, allows for greater specialisation of the staff assigned to ADIs, favours the unity of criteria in the application of the standard and allows taxpayers to resolve their doubts during longer hours and without the need to travel to the offices.

The pilot test of this project is planned for autumn 2020 in Valencia, and will be especially focused on VAT, taking advantage of the recent creation of powerful assistance tools, such as virtual assistants of VAT (in the process of gradual implementation) and SII (already implemented, as well as the calculator of deadlines for submission of invoicing records and the locator of the taxable event in VAT).

By then, the future virtual assistant of the census return (registration, modification and cancellation of economic activities) is expected to be in operation and, throughout the validity of the plan, the strategy will be completed with a parallel system of information and electronic assistance, also including virtual assistants, for the procedures related to the Collection area.

Similarly, in the area of collection and during the life of the plan the option of making the corresponding payments of debts managed by the Agency through a system of instantaneous transfers via mobile phone will be implemented and the possibility of paying by bank card, practically residual at present, will be extended.

Codes of good practice and cooperative compliance

A basic pillar of the prevention strategy set out in the plan is the promotion of cooperative compliance.Along these lines, and following the establishment of codes of good practice in the field of large companies, professional associations and colleges and consultancy firms, the Agency is currently working on the drafting of equivalent codes with organisations representing SMEs and the self-employed.

At the same time, work is being done on the future statistical dissemination of sectorial information on the economic and tax figures of Corporation Tax equivalent to that which has already been published recently in the Personal Income Tax (Income Tax on economic activities), so that taxpayers can check whether they are aligned with what has been declared by their sector as a whole.

Advances in tax control

One of the keys established in the plan for improving tax control is the extension to other taxes and groups of the system for selecting tax risks existing in VAT and in relation to large assets, the two areas in which powerful computer tools have been introduced in recent years to facilitate the analysis, detection and selection of risks.This use of new computer tools will also be transferred to the Collection area for the automated detection of risk behaviours.

In the case of large companies, there is a commitment to reinforced control, based on greater transparency of taxpayers, which makes it possible to anticipate the identification of tax contingencies and thus move towards a model of preventive control in the case of groups with more advanced standards of compliance and transparency.In the specific case of the large technological multinationals with a presence in Spain, a definitive international change will be defended to accompany the payment of direct taxes to the place where these multinationals have a significant digital presence and generate real added value.

At the same time, in the fight against the underground economy, the plan delves into the strategy of prevention, with the collaboration of the organisations that have signed the codes of good practice for SMEs and the self-employed, and also through the use of possible new tools such as the suppression of double-counting software, a strategy that will be combined with the repression of fraud through face-to-face actions.

In the area of Customs, the project to create a centralised system for the control of scanners stands out, which will make it possible to systematise and intensify the existing surveillance in the different customs areas, and the implementation of a new digital communications network for the Campo de Gibraltar area is also planned to facilitate the work of the officials dedicated there to the fight against drug trafficking and smuggling.

Strategic indicators

The plan devotes a specific section to the measurement of the Agency’s performance.The plan establishes a set of seven indicators that are intended to measure the contribution of the Tax Agency to its main purpose, the improvement of taxpayer's tax compliance, both through prevention and assistance, as well as through control.

First, consideration will be given to the Agency’s ability to outgrow undeclared activity and broaden bases, so that in good times the growth of tax bases (adjusted for regulatory changes) is greater than that of domestic demand, and in times of economic contraction the Agency can mitigate the impact of falling activity on revenue.

Another indicator, in this multiple case, will be used to measure the induced collection effect derived from the inclusion in the tax data of taxpayers of information referring to foreign accounts and income, tourist accommodation, etc., and the induced effect of inspection actions.

The induced effect of inspections

With regard to the latter, and by way of example, internal studies of the Agency show that taxpayers inspected in 2015 (with the exception of taxpayers attached to the Central Delegation of Large Taxpayers, due to the high volatility of their figures between years) increased their declared income by more than 25% in the three subsequent years in relation to the years prior to the inspection, double that of all taxpayers in the same period.

The measurement of the induced effect will also reach other groups and areas, such as actions on large estates, the VAT visit plan, the sending of information letters and the actions of the Collection area.

Other reference indicators will make it possible to measure the efficiency of the Agency (evolution of its budget in relation to the progress of the tax revenues it manages), the capacity to collect on the manageable debt, and the tax conflict and agility of the administration (proportion of appeals filed by taxpayers over the total administrative acts of each year and improvement of resolutions and judgements in favour of the Agency, as well as reduction of interest paid).

In any case, as a closure of the system, an indicator is also established which relates the evolution of the calculation base (the instrument which traditionally serves as a reference for the annual allocation of budgetary appropriation to the Agency) to the evolution of voluntary compliance.

Ethical advisory committee

In relation to ethical infrastructure and good governance, it has been decided that the plan will go beyond the existing regulation in the public employee statute and give the Tax Agency an explicit commitment in this regard.In this regard, a code of principles and conduct specific to the Agency will be drawn up in accordance with the recommendations of the international bodies and corporate responsibility, and a protocol for reporting malpractice will be approved.

All this with the objective of consolidating the practices and recommendations already marked and practised traditionally on specific and tangible instruments by officials.On the other hand, the novelty in this area is the creation of an advisory commission on ethics that will support officials in the practical application in each case of the principles set out in the code of conduct.