ITIC Senior Advisor Douglas Townsend participated as an Observer in the 20th General Assembly of the Intra-European Organization of Tax Administrations (IOTA) held on 7-8 July 2016 in Bucharest, under the Presidency of the Romanian National Agency for Fiscal Administration. Heads of tax administrations from 46 countries and representatives of 11 international organizations attended, along with representatives from the IMF and OECD, among others.

The theme of this year’s meeting, “Data-Driven Tax Administration,” featured discussions on managing the dramatic increase in the amount and complexity of digital data and data exchange arising from AEOI, CbC-R and other BEPS recommendations. While participants agreed that the new data environment offered significant opportunities that could lead to efficient and transparent revenue collection, their capacity — not least in human resources terms — to utilize the opportunities and technologies is seriously challenged. Much attention was given to the work and publications of the OECD/FTA as guides for action.

IOTA’s next general assembly will be held in Kiev in July 2017 under the Presidency of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, with the theme of “Disruptive Trends and New Business Models: Challenges and Implications for 21st Century Tax Administration.”  IOTA also plans to hold its first global tax administration conference in Budapest on 8-9 November 2016, on the related theme of “A Tax Administration Fit for the 21st Century.”  The members elected Miguel Silva Pinto, DDG of Portugal’s Tax and Customs Authority, as the new IOTA Executive Secretary for 2016-2019.

A detailed summary of this year’s meeting is available in the Assembly Communique.

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