Knowledge sharing

Saturday, July 8, 2017

SII VAT filing submission: we successfully met first submission deadline

Istanbul, Turkey and Amsterdam, the Netherlands — SNI and Key Group announce for 50 multinationals a successful Spanish SII filing

The Spanish SII filing, a new requirement introduced by the Spanish government, requires taxpayers to submit VAT relevant transactional data of their Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) records in a specific XML format close to real-time to the Spanish tax authorities (AEAT). To support these new regulations our clients have implemented our SAP add-on for Spain. 

That is a SAP integrated solution for Spain with a cockpit to select reportable outgoing and incoming invoices, create periodic SII files (envelopes), E-submission of SII XML files and control reports. The creation and submission of the SII reports could be fully automated in SAP Batch jobs. It is however also possible to do some SII reports (for example the sales invoices) fully automated and other SII reports (for example the incoming invoices) manually.


All flags are on green

We are pleased to announce that our first actual SII VAT filing submission were completed successfully prior to first submission deadline.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SNI Zugferd SAP add-on: enables electronic invoice exchange in SAP itself

SNI SAP-ZUGFERD is a SAP certified SAP add-on enabling electronic invoice exchange including structured data in an efficient way. 

ZUGFeRD is an abbreviate for »Zentraler User Guide des Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland«. It is a new invoicing standard that will play a major role in efficient and effective electronic invoicing. ZUGFeRD invoices carry both a human-readable representation (rendering) of the invoice as well as a structured machine-readable XML representation.

The objective of ZUGFeRD is to enable electronic invoice exchange including structured data in the public and private sectors. The goal of ZUGFeRD is to enable electronic invoice exchange including structured data in the public and private sectors:


  • ZUGFeRD invoices carry both a human-readable representation (rendering) of the invoice as well as a structured machine-readable XML representation
  • The human-readable rendering is encoded as one or more PDF pages according to the PDF/A (standard)

What is the new innovative way

For companies that run SAP we have developed a SAP add-on solution by which e-invoicing requirements can be met in efficient and effective and automated fashion in SAP itself.




PowerPoint for complete overview of the product


Saturday, April 22, 2017

More attention for Transfer Pricing

Many countries nowadays implement the BEPS recommendations such as the ‘master’ and ‘local’ file and the ‘Country-by-Country’ report. In general, this not only leads to an aggravation of Transfer Pricing (hereafter: TP) compliance activities, but also results in the potential discovery of errors that were previously undetectable. Indeed, TP processes are generally not (yet) automated and analysis activities regarding TP are primarily executed manually.
This situation makes it challenging to have all relevant tax data provided in time. This applies to both the collection of the required source data, as well as the TP analysis itself. Often, the supplied formats and templates are unusable or have to be ‘manually’ modified in Excel in order to be used.

The current trend is that increasingly more detailed information is necessary for specific products or services; ranging from who the order was placed by to details about the applied margins for service – and goods transactions and the conditions under which these took place. Timely access to such source data has thus become even more important.

This is also the ‘overlap’ with data required for the indirect tax function. Cross-border intercompany transactions form a risk area that will be included in the VAT risk matrix – risks that exceed the risk appetite – by every multinational and that requires efficient monitoring and checks.
  1. Introduction: Relevant tax data from Transfer Pricing and VAT: explaining the ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’
  2. The auditor is not (yet) a risk analyst
  3. New tax legislation in the UK: 'Tone at the top'
  4. More attention on Transfer Pricing
Above is a translation of article published in Vakblad Tax Assurance. Dutch version can be downloaded for free: Download click the link

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New legislation UK: Tone at the top

In an increasing number of countries, laws and regulations are established that force companies to be transparent with regard to their handling of tax risks, (fiscal) risk management, risk appetite – also in relation to tax planning – and the way of dealing with tax authorities.
This concerns the actual fiscal management, including the way in which the company makes tax decisions, for instance regarding distributed information about the systems and the means used for effective monitoring of fiscal risks. 
The Finance Bill, that was established in 2016 by the United Kingdom, forces the Board of Directors of British multinationals not only to compose a tax strategy, but also to publish it. An important new aspect of this Finance Bill is that it obliges one person within the Board of Directors to be assigned the responsibility for the tax strategy. 
The power of this legislation resides in the fact that it forces the Board of Directors to actually determine a position regarding the company’s tax morality. This is recorded in a public statement, which makes it an important criterion in measurement and evaluation of the performance of the Board of Directors itself (fiscal KPI).
Supervisory bodies such as the Supervisory Board (and auditors?) will have to evaluate whether the board indeed conforms to the formulated fiscal norm. 
Moreover, as appears from the parliamentary history, it is expected that companies that have not published their business strategy are more likely to accept a higher risk appetite with regard to tax risks, compared to companies that have defined and formally published a strategy, both internally and externally.
There is a clear difference between this new legislation and existing initiatives such as the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) regime in the UK. Whereas SAO is aimed at adequate tax accounting specifically, the new legislation goes beyond the SAO because it requires companies to provide insight into the business strategy with regard to taxes. 
We think that this type of legislation realizes the objective measurability of the ‘Tone at the top’ in the fiscal domain. Without ownership and active involvement of the Board of Directors, the realization of vast changes or large investments is a hopeless mission when coming from change management.
By placing the responsibility for the execution of the fiscal strategy on the Board of Directors, the tax division will receive the tools required for adequate execution of its function – mandate, resources, budget etc. – much faster. This will be amplified when signals from external sources – the auditor and the tax authorities – that promote prioritizing of taxes, also reach the Board of Directors. 
The assignment of accountability, the composition and publication of the tax strategy would be an improvement of the current ‘Horizontal Monitoring’ policy in the Netherlands, as it brings the fiscal responsibility to the Board of Directors.
In practice, the Horizontal Monitoring relies too much on the relation between the Taxpayer coordinator (account manager) of the Dutch tax authorities and the Head of tax of the company. 
  1. Introduction: Relevant tax data from Transfer Pricing and VAT: explaining the ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’
  2. The auditor is not (yet) a risk analyst
  3. New tax legislation in the UK: 'Tone at the top'
  4. Next week: More attention on Transfer Pricing
Above is a translation of article published in Vakblad Tax Assurance. Dutch version can be downloaded for free: Download click the link

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Partnership between Key Group, SNI and ConVista

A partnership is closed between the Key Group, SNI and the international operating SAP consultancy firm 'ConVista Consulting' with offices amongst others in Madrid and Barcelona. Key Group and SNI operate from Netherlands, Poland and Turkey.

Who we are

In order to establish synergies to support business SAP challenges of our clients we have setup a joint venture initiative in the past. Tax SAP experts - KEY Group and Phenix Consulting - developing together with SNI a global development partner of SAP and leading software company in the area of e-invoice, e-bookkeeping, e-archive, e-ticket.

SNI's core business is to provide SAP certified add-ons for legal compliance to a large number of global well-known companies. We have therefore access in-house to senior Tax SAP experts working together with SAP experts (functional and technical). That means our turnaround time is fast and our quality is very high.

A partnership is closed with the international operating SAP consultancy firm 'ConVista Consulting' with offices amongst others in Madrid and Barcelona. Our partnership relates to distribution, implementation and maintenance support (Spanish language) for our SAP SII add-on solution for Spain.

ConVista is an experienced consulting firm with a large track record in the design and installation of financials & treasury applications with SAP. We offer comprehensive IT consulting services complemented by custom software development. ConVista provides a complete service offering from a single source. Streamlined processes, a higher degree of automation and shorter project durations serve as indicators for improved efficiency. Expertise in process, technology and methodology form the fundamental components of our work. We combine long-lasting experience in the implementation and delivery of large programs with in-depth knowledge of treasury applications from SAP.

Quienes somos

Hemos desarrollado una iniciativa conjunta con el fin de establecer sinergias para ayudar a nuestros clientes en los desafíos de negocio de SAP. Los expertos en impuestos SAP - KEY Group y Phenix Consulting - forman junto con SNI un partner global de SAP y una compañía de software líder en el área de factura electrónica, e-book, e-archive, e-ticket. Además nuestro partnership con ConVista nos permite dar cobertura a nuestros clientes en numerosos países, facilitando la implantación y mantenimiento de nuestras soluciones.

La principal actividad de SNI consiste en proporcionar add-ons certificados por SAP para cubrir los requisitos legales en un gran número de empresas ampliamente conocidas. Por este motivo disponemos de expertos senior en el área de impuestos que trabajan conjuntamente con expertos de SAP (funcionales y técnicos), lo que nos permite un tiempo de respuesta rápido y una alta calidad.

España 1 de julio de 2017: Suministro Inmediato de Información a las autoridades (SII)


A partir del 1 de julio de 2017, más de 62.000 empresas estarán obligadas a gestionar el IVA de forma electrónica. Se trata de un nuevo sistema electrónico para la declaración telemática de los libros de registro del IVA, que nace con el objetivo de agilizar el cumplimiento fiscal y las devoluciones de este impuesto.

La nueva plataforma de SII se centra en la obligación de la emisión y declaración electrónica del detalle de las facturas emitidas y recibidas por parte de una empresa.

De esta forma los libros registro de IVA se constituyen de forma automática, a través del envío recurrente sobre el detalle de las operaciones realizadas por una compañía. El plazo máximo de tiempo otorgado por la AEAT para el envío de la información es de 4 días hábiles ( 8 durante el segundo semestre de este mismo año)

Así pues, el modelo impulsado por la AEAT permitirá comunicar en tiempo real las operaciones comerciales realizadas por las compañías, incrementando la rapidez y eficiencia del control tributario y fiscal.

SAP Solution para el SII

IN ENGLISH

SAP Solution para el SII. Hemos desarrollado una solución integrada en SAP que da cobertura a los siguientes procesos:
  • Selección automática de documentos/transacciones registradas en los módulos de SD y FI/AR/AP y conversión en eDocuments
  • Clasificación de los eDocuments en torno a los requerimientos informativos del SII a través de “envelopes”
  • Generación de los mensajes XML de comunicación con la AEAT
  • Comunicación a través de Web Service del envío y recepción de los mensajes XML requeridos por la AEAT
  • Gestión de los certificados homologados por la AEAT para garantizar el no repudio de la información intercambiada
  • Integración de los mensajes resultantes de la validación realizada por la AEAT sobre la información enviada
El Cockpit SII ofrece las siguientes funcionalidades:
  • Desglose ampliado de la información financiera en el Edocument
  • Muestra datos de cabecera y del desglose de la factura en el Edocument
  • Muestra el mensaje XML constituido en la pantalla
  • Desglose de las transacciones de origen en SAP
  • Muestra el seguimiento y estado del Edocument
  • Almacena claves de aprobación (CSV) de la Agencia Tributaria
  • Implementación de workflows de aprobación previos a la comunicación a la AEAT
  • Opción de supresión lógica de documentos electrónicos (por ejemplo, para cancelar / traspasar facturas AP en SAP debido a errores de contabilización)
  • Cargar desde Excel transacciones / informes de aplicativos externos no SAP
  • Generación de los mensajes XML a la Agencia Tributaria para completar el proceso automatizado de envío electrónico

Características generales del add-on

Las soluciones integradas SAP e-invoice / SAF-T tienen las siguientes características:
  • Totalmente integrado en SAP sin una interfaz o software externo
  • Independiente de la versión y actualización de SAP, implementado sin modificación del core
  • Área de nombres para todos los objetos registrada globalmente “/SNI/”
  • Lenguaje de programación ABAP, idioma del producto en inglés
  • Instalación realizada simplemente mediante un archivo de transporte externo
  • Todos los desarrollos bajo un paquete
  • Datos XML almacenados en tablas /SNI/
  • Compatibilidad – Uso de XI/PI o integradores de facturas electrónicas
  • Funciones SAP estándar disponibles (variantes, pantallas de selección, etc.)
  • Autorización SAP estándar
  • Pantallas fáciles de usar
  • Tablas personalizadas propias
  • Códigos y menús de transacciones propios

Sí, el add-on es escalable

El add-on es escalable. Algunas configuraciones son específicas de cada país y otras son compartidas. SAF-T está disponible para Francia, Polonia, Lituania, Noruega y ahora también para España (SII). Los nuevos requisitos en tiempo real para Hungría e Italia ya están en desarrollo. Nuestro objetivo es tener add-ons para todos los países que implementan la presentación de informes SAF-T.

Quienes Somos

Hemos desarrollado una iniciativa conjunta con el fin de establecer sinergias para ayudar a nuestros clientes en los desafíos de negocio de SAP. Los expertos en impuestos SAP - KEY Group y Phenix Consulting - forman junto con SNI un partner global de SAP y una compañía de software líder en el área de factura electrónica, e-book, e-archive, e-ticket. Además nuestro partnership con ConVista nos permite dar cobertura a nuestros clientes en numerosos países, facilitando la implantación y mantenimiento de nuestras soluciones.

La principal actividad de SNI consiste en proporcionar add-ons certificados por SAP para cubrir los requisitos legales en un gran número de empresas ampliamente conocidas. Por este motivo disponemos de expertos senior en el área de impuestos que trabajan conjuntamente con expertos de SAP (funcionales y técnicos), lo que nos permite un tiempo de respuesta rápido y una alta calidad.

Contact us for more information


AEAT FAQ

SAP Solution para el Suministro Inmediato de Información (SII) en España


La Agencia Tributaria implanta un nuevo sistema de gestión del IVA basado en el Suministro Inmediato de Información (SII). El denominado “IVA online” es un procedimiento de gestión telemática u online con la Agencia Tributaria (AEAT), mediante el cual las empresas tendrán que comunicar los registros de facturación (no las facturas) de forma electrónica. Con esta información, la AEAT irá configurando, en tiempo real, los distintos Libros de Registro.

Solución con SAP add-on

IN ENGLISH

En España, el nuevo sistema de declaración del IVA entrará en vigor el 1 de julio de 2017. El nuevo marco regulatorio tendrá un impacto enorme en muchas (multi) nacionales que ejecutan SAP. Los sujetos pasivos afectados tendrán sólo un par de meses para adaptar su ERP a este nuevo escenario lo que constituye un verdadero reto. Si no se realiza en los plazos estipulados las compañías incurrirán en sanciones, incrementando el riesgo de padecer una auditoría fiscal.

La buena noticia es que contamos ya con una solución para el SII integrada en SAP. El nuevo marco regulador no es algo nuevo para nosotros, ya que hemos desarrollado en el pasado reciente soluciones similares para Polonia, Lituania y Noruega.

Hemos desarrollado una solución mediante la cual la presentación electrónica de los datos requeridos de facturas AR/AP está totalmente integrada en SAP, sin necesidad de una interfaz o software externo. Con esta solución, la presentación de las facturas solicitadas se puede realizar de forma automática y cumpliendo los plazos estipulados. Nuestra solución SII para España está lista y se puede ejecutar a través del propio entorno SAP.

¿Cuáles son los aspectos clave del SII?

  • Suministro de los registros de facturación (no confundir con facturación electrónica) de forma INMEDIATA
  • Primera piedra hacia la creación del Borrador de Autoliquidación de IVA
  • De obligado cumplimiento para Grandes empresas, Grupos de IVA y REDEME
  • Simplificación de las obligaciones informativas (Elimina 347, 340, 390* y Libros Registros IVA) y reducción de los errores en las declaraciones al poder “contrastar” la información con la base de datos de la AEAT
  • Ampliación del plazo en 10 días para la presentación de Autoliquidaciones de IVA periódicas
  • Tipos de Libros a comunicar (Facturas Emitidas, Recibidas) y de carácter anual (Bienes de Inversión y Importes en Metálico)

*La información del 390 que no se puede obtener a través del SII se suministraría como información adicional en los modelos 303 y 322 del último período de liquidación

  • Plazos 4 días naturales ( 8 durante el 2017) excluyendo del cómputo fines de semana y festivos nacionales
  • Facturas Expedidas desde la fecha de expedición de la factura
  • Facturas Recibidas desde la fecha de registro contable de la factura
  • Importaciones desde la fecha del documento de aduanas
  • 1 Julio 2017 pero existe la obligación retroactiva de envío de los libros del primer semestre del año en el periodo de que va desde el mismo 1 de Julio al 31 de Diciembre (salvo las acogidas al REDEME)
  • Comunicación de mensajes vía Web Service mediante protocolo HTTPS o Formulario Web
  • Utilización de certificados homologados por la AEAT

Quienes somos

Hemos desarrollado una iniciativa conjunta con el fin de establecer sinergias para ayudar a nuestros clientes en los desafíos de negocio de SAP. Los expertos en impuestos SAP - KEY Group y Phenix Consulting - forman junto con SNI un partner global de SAP y una compañía de software líder en el área de factura electrónica, e-book, e-archive, e-ticket. Además nuestro partnership con ConVista nos permite dar cobertura a nuestros clientes en numerosos países, facilitando la implantación y mantenimiento de nuestras soluciones.

La principal actividad de SNI consiste en proporcionar add-ons certificados por SAP para cubrir los requisitos legales en un gran número de empresas ampliamente conocidas. Por este motivo disponemos de expertos senior en el área de impuestos que trabajan conjuntamente con expertos de SAP (funcionales y técnicos), lo que nos permite un tiempo de respuesta rápido y una alta calidad.

Contact us for more information


AEAT FAQ

The auditor is not (yet) a risk analyst

The term materiality has many meanings and definitions. Boundaries of materiality are primarily determined based on personal estimations. This can be estimations by auditors, risk management departments, company directors, etc.

The term materiality, used as a quantitative norm, then serves as an approval boundary. Evidently, the materiality used to determine the tax risk appetite of businesses is significantly lower than the materiality used by the external auditor in the annual audit.

The external auditor’s task is only to provide an opinion whether the annual accounts provide a true and fair representation of the company's affairs. He or she is not asked to provide a statement regarding the accuracy or the acceptability of the submitted return for corporate tax, income tax, VAT etc. The examples of tax situations listed below should, however, also receive full attention from auditors.

These stock market listed companies have after all, been obliged based on the SEC rules to report their risks to their investors:
  • Google avoided €227 million in taxes in Italy. Google paid £130 million to the British tax authorities and agreed to pay higher taxes in the future. In France, the tax authorities demanded €1.6 billion from Google.
  • Apple paid €318 million as a settlement to the Italian tax authorities after a two-year fraud investigation. Apple missed a deadline to pay €13 million in taxes to Irish authorities in the context of state aid. Due to the special treatment given by the Irish government, the effective tax rate was just 0,05%.
  • Facebook (FB, Tech30) disclosed that the IRS conducted an investigation into the way it moved assets to an Irish subsidiary to avoid higher taxes. According to Facebook’s SEC filing, the amount totals $3 - $5 billion, plus interest.
  • Coca-Cola was found to to owe the US tax authorities $3.3 billion, plus interest, based on an audit by the IRS. Profits were incorrectly recognized in foreign countries, rather than the US.
In case these tax-related issues are considered individually per county and per company, it could be put into question whether these matters are also material for the auditor. Notably, the media also discuss the reputation of these companies. Any potential reputational damage and/or fiscal uncertainty might impact not only the share price but also external relations including that with the tax authorities.

The loss of tax income due to the movement of assets to low tax rate jurisdictions is conservatively estimated to total between $100 and $240 billion.

The amount of media attention, public indignation and political reactions these cases have received – including for instance that of US senator and (former) presidential candidate Bernie Saunders – emphasize the differences in tax morality.

Why should ordinary citizens comply with tax obligations, while multinationals or soccer players are attempting to avoid paying a ‘fair share’ of taxes by means of tax-saving structures? Both media and politics have given a great deal of attention to cases such as the ‘Panama Papers’, ‘Lux Leaks’, ‘The Netherlands Tax Haven’ and ‘Football Leaks’.

In the context of an investigation regarding state aid, the European Commission states that providing tax rulings (advance pricing agreements; APA’s) should not result in situations in which some taxpayers pay less than other taxpayers under the same circumstances. As a result of the Panama Papers, many Corporate Service Providers, shell corporations and advisors are interrogated by the Dutch parliament with regard to tax avoidance and tax evasion.

These are companies without any significant assets or activities in the Netherlands that solely serve as a vehicle for shifting interest and royalties within international companies. Due to the application of tax treaties, this construction results in a significantly lower corporate taxes. During his presidential campaign in 2008 Barack Obama illustrated the issue:

“There’s a building in the Cayman Islands that houses supposedly 12,000 U.S.-based corporations. That’s either the biggest building in the world or the biggest tax scam in the world, and we know which one it is.”

Evidently, we’ve entered a broader discussion, reaching beyond the question of what is tenable based on fiscal laws and regulations. Beside financial risks – that can be material – it concerns reputational damage, which can, as previously mentioned, negatively affect share prices.

Business operations can thus be fiscally appropriate, complying with tax laws and regulations, yet deemed unacceptable according to societal norms. This is a relatively new phenomenon in terms of reputational risks that affects the risk management from the overarching ‘business control framework’.

Questions that need to be asked include for instance: does the current business model still fit the ‘reconsidered’ business strategy?

 In terms of tax revenues, a global trend is emerging shifting from direct to indirect taxes. The rates for VAT are increasing, whereas the rates for corporate tax are decreasing. An average multinational has over €5 billion in indirect tax flowing through the business. A mistake of one percent can make the difference between profit or loss. This is material, also for an auditor.


  1. Introduction: Relevant tax data from Transfer Pricing and VAT: explaining the ‘Why’, ‘What’ and ‘How’
  2. Next week: New tax legislation in the UK: 'Tone at the top'

Above is a translation of article published in Vakblad Tax Assurance. Dutch version can be downloaded for free: Download click the link

Friday, March 24, 2017

The tax authorities not only want to receive more tax data, but also faster and more often.

Tax moral is shifting. More often what is (still) legally allowed may not automatically be accepted by the public opinion. Reputational damage is imminent.

Both on direct and indirect taxation the tax authorities have set their priorities. The tax authorities not only want to receive more tax data, but also faster and more often. In addition, there is a tendency to allocate the ultimate tax responsibility at the highest level in a company. Since last year in the United Kingdom the Board of Directors has to sign off the company's tax strategy and also publish the strategy externally.

Tax departments and the external auditors face due to these 2 tendencies new obligations. These tendencies could however also support change.

The new data requirements of the tax authorities have to be properly assessed and interpreted from a tax risk management perspective to see whether the data requested contain any uneforeseen and major tax risks. The outcome of such an exercise could also make clear that the company has to reorganize its business and tax processes.

When all tax disciplines (e.g. TP, indirect tax; etc.) work together a joint responsibility for the overall tax affairs of a company could be established. That might facilitate the buy-in for tax investments.

When successful tax can take the place it deserves: an important part of a company's business strategy.

The above will be further explained in detail the coming weeks:
  1. The external accountant not yet a tax risk analist
  2. New tax legislation in the UK: 'Tone at the top'
  3. More attention on Transfer Pricing
  4. … And on VAT
  5. Tax authorities request more, faster and more often tax data
  6. SAF-T rolled out in more countries
  7. The impact on in-house tax function
  8. Preaudit before submit
  9. Realise a joint tax responsibility

Above is a translation of article published in Vakblad Tax Assurance. Dutch version can be downloaded for free: Download click the link


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Relevante belastingdata vanuit TP en BTW: de ‘Waarom’, ‘Wat’ en ‘Hoe’

Door Richard H. Cornelisse en Edwin van Loon Gepubliceerd in Vakblad Tax Assurance

Samenvatting

De belastingmoraal verschuift. Steeds meer wordt iets wat wettelijk gezien mag, niet automatisch ook geaccepteerd door de publieke opinie. Reputatieschade dreigt. Belastingdiensten worden ook scherper, op zowel directe en indirecte belastingen. Ze willen vaker, sneller en meer gegevens zien. Daarnaast is er een tendens om de eindverantwoordelijkheid voor fiscale zaken hoger in de onderneming te leggen; in het Verenigd Koninkrijk ligt die sinds vorig jaar zelfs al bij de Raad van Bestuur.

Die twee tendensen stellen eisen aan de interne fiscale afdelingen en de externe accountants, maar bieden ook kansen. De gegevens die de belastingdiensten eisen, zouden door het bedrijf zelf goed gemonitord en geïnterpreteerd moeten worden, om te kijken in hoeverre die gegevens misschien wijzen op ongewenste situaties en te grote belastingrisico’s. Het kan ook zo zijn dat die gegevens duidelijk maken dat het bedrijf er misschien goed aan doet de bedrijfsprocessen anders te organiseren.

Door samenwerking van fiscale specialisten kan een gezamenlijke verantwoordelijkheid voor het totale fiscale reilen en zeilen van de multinational ontstaan. Van daaruit is een beter zicht op mogelijk gewenste investeringen voor het bedrijf mogelijk. Zo kan fiscaliteit de plaats innemen die het misschien altijd al verdient: als belangrijk onderdeel van het totale overkoepelende ondernemingsbeleid.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

SAP add on for 'VAT Smartform PDF' in Poland

We offer a new SAP add-on solution that creates automatically the VAT Smartform from SAP. When our SAF-T SAP add-on solution has been purchased this additional functionality will be managed under SAF-T cockpit as a different report.
Companies selling across European Union borders have to submit EC Sales List (ESL). This should contain the details of sales or transfers of goods and services to other VAT registered companies in other EU countries summarized per VAT registration number. The tax authorities in the EU use the listings to check whether VAT is declared by the parties involved in cross-border transactions (e.g. no mismatches).

In Poland a specific extra local requirement applies. As of 1 January 2017 taxpayers making transactions with EU members will be required to submit mandatory the declaration in electronic format.

The Polish tax authorities provides a VAT Smartform PDF that a company has to fill in with the requested information. That Smartform is mandatory and must be used to meet the requirement. Without automation support the data has to be entered manually by the company.
Entering data is a time consuming process. Besides the impact on internal resources, such manual activity increases the risk of data errors, i.e. with entering the VAT registration numbers in the Smartform.

Stricter penalties apply for individuals involved in tax fraud and penalties are introduced for taxpayers who do meet the legal requirement of submitting declarations in electronic format.

Source: SAP - submitting close to real time data to tax authorities

Friday, February 24, 2017

In Spain on 1 July 2017: immediate supply of Information to tax authorities in force

In Spain a new VAT reporting system will enter into force on the 1st of July 2017. The new Spanish requirements will have a huge impact on many (multi)nationals that run SAP.

SAP add on for SII

The SAP add-on is based on the selection of the VAT relevant transactions from the SAP ledgers. This can be done manually with a new SAP transaction or in an automated way via scheduled batch jobs. The SII relevant data from the selected source transactions are stored in a new customized SII table. That single source ensures your data integrity and consistency. There will be no need for maintenance of multiple systems as it will all be maintained in SAP itself. All reportable SII data are available via a single SAP cockpit which enables easy (tax risk) management of the SII reports.

Read more: In Spain on 1 July 2017: immediate supply of Information to tax authorities in force

Sunday, February 19, 2017

SAP add-on for immediate Supply of Information (SII) in Spain

SII (“Suministro Inmediato de Información”) in Spain is about changing the current VAT management system which has been in place for 30 years, introducing a new bookkeeping system for VAT on the AEAT online system, by providing all billing records virtually immediately. 
The new Immediate Supply of Information accelerates the gap between recording or booking invoices and the actual realisation of the underlying economic transaction.
It is introduced because the current technological situation allows its implementation at this time, to improve both taxpayer assistance as taxation controls (e-tax audits).

SAP add-on solution

In Spain a new VAT reporting system will enter into force on the 1st of July 2017. The new Spanish requirements will have a huge impact on many (multi)nationals that run SAP.

Businesses classified as large companies will just have a couple of months left to adopt this new requirement in its processes, controls and systems.

It will be a real challenge. Failure to comply in time could result in penalties and increased risk of a tax audit. The goods news is that we developed already a SAP integrated SII solution.

That is not new for us as we have developed similar SAP add-on solutions before when SAF-T in Poland, Lithuania and Norway was introduced. SII is our next step in supporting clients that face IT business challenges.

We developed a SAP add-on solution by which the e-submission of the required data from AR and AP invoices is fully integrated in SAP without an external interface or use of external software.  With this add-on the submission of the requested invoices can be done automatically and in time.

Our SII for Spain is ready and functionality can be demonstrated via our own SAP environment.

Read more: SAP add-on for immediate Supply of Information (SII) in Spain

Friday, February 3, 2017

A SAP add-on to be able to cope with SAF-T and e-tax audits

Tax authorities around the world want to receive more frequent and faster tax relevant data for e-audit purposes to analyse Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and VAT positions taken to combat VAT fraud and to determine whether actually a fair share is paid (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting: 'OECD's BEPS').

More countries will therefore move to data request to monitor and electronic audits (e-audits) taxpayers. SAP itself does not provide an E2E solution to meet these (new) legal requirements.

More an more countries will implement 'the Standard Audit File for Tax Purposes (SAF-T) developed by the OECD. This format is intended to give tax authorities easy access to the relevant data in an easy readable format. This leads to much more efficient and effective tax inspections.

E-audits will be performed - using data analytics - on data submitted electronically by the taxpayers.

Read more

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Do we see tax technology as an enabler or as a 'magic' way to be and get in control?

A Tax Control Framework should not operate in silo, but has to be aligned to the company's business control framework (BCF) and should cover more from a tax risk management perspective than only compliance and financial risks. There are various BCF models developed and therefore differences exist between companies.
That same principle applies when we 'wish' for example to copy paste a 'Best practice tax technology framework' from one multinational to another multinational. The devil is often in the 'implementation' / 'configuration' detail as most of the time it is not 'Plug & Play'. For example the legacy systems, business models and/or the structure of the tax function could be different.

When we talk about tax control framework do we focus nowadays not too much on compliance and financial risks?

What has been designed from a tax planning is not always properly implemented or has changed after implementation due to new business initiatives that are an unknown to the tax function due to lack of visibility or disconnect. That could result in material tax risks. Take for example strategic tax risks such as the management of non-routine transactions:




Technology might be an enabler to manage such change management process better, but the people element ('the interaction') - especially if many work streams are involved - are the key drivers that together can realise 'being in control' at go-live and beyond.

Anticipating in time on tax developments and take action 'see the 4 questions I raised and the answer I gave above' is an other example that highlights why managing change is important from a tax control framework as it impacts all the risk categories including reputational, strategic and operational risks.

Source: From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax adviser | Richard H. Cornelisse | Pulse | LinkedIn

Thursday, January 19, 2017

From Artificial intelligence to Robocop to indirect tax

I truly love innovation. The sooner the better, but I consider all the stories about artificial intelligence and robotics still science fiction when this is discussed in connection to indirect tax. 
A critical condition for success would be that ERP systems supported by tax technology could actually present real-time all the company's (intercompany) business transactions. 

However, real-time access to a company's blue print is often a recurring bottleneck during business model change (see example 'Commissionaire to LRD'). Certain consultancy firms perform such transaction mapping exercises still via interviews. 

Without access to a complete data set, is artificial intelligence not useless?

Automating the adviser

That being said I think much more can be automated and will be automated. I published in February 17, 2012 my article 'Google the (tax) adviser of the future': [Time stamp 2012!] 

I am following the developments of Apple’s Siri of and of Google in general with great interest. Siri is the speech recognition engine that Apple uses as a virtual personal assistant for their devices. 

The software truly understands your questions, searches the web and provides you with answers immediately. 

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, has conceded that Siri could pose a “competitive threat” to the company’s core search business. 

If that is the case, is it not realistic to assume that Google and/or other companies are going to invest a considerable amount of money in developing similar functionalities? 

Such competition between these powerhouses will boost technology improvement.
  • Will such technology in the end truly understand all your technical questions?
  • Is a virtual personal assistant going to respond immediately?
  • Is this science fiction or our near future?
I am aware that some people will argue that certain knowhow depends on individual skill sets and expertise. 

For the moment, they are right, but they might be proven wrong in the future. 

Can this also be automated? 

What successful examples relate to strategic insight and decision-making? 

Chess is a strategic game and relates on fact-based information (pieces on the chess board: relevant facts) and a number of possibilities (moves: calculation of the impact of various options combined with overall strategic insight).
  • If a chess-playing computer, Deep Blue, can beat world champion Gary Kasparov in a six-game match by two to one with three draws against, shouldn’t the automation of an adviser’s strategic decision-making also be possible?
  • Deep Blue’s successor - Watson - has beaten Jeopardy champions at their own game. What was needed to make that happen: “natural language processing, searching immense data sets and creating relationships among disparate sources of information to finally culminate in an answer.”
The good news is that the profession of service providing is a people business. 

We like to be connected to people. 

Maybe the statement about automating the adviser is a bit too provocative, but I still believe a lot more can be automated than we can currently comprehend. Having an open mind is the message I want to get across. 

The only things that probably cannot be automated are our feelings and interactions. 

 That is why it is and will remain a people business. 

Last but not least, I don’t pretend to write the strategy plan for Google. I just admire companies like Google, Apple and Virgin for their innovations and culture. In this blog “Google” represents companies that are technology innovators. The future adviser could therefore be somebody else. 

Do you agree? 

Source: From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax adviser | Richard H. Cornelisse | Pulse | LinkedIn

From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax advise

Lets just assume that tax transparency and disclosure of tax risks to the tax authorities is mandatory in force in every country and that the effectiveness of a tax control framework should be proven.
  • Are OECD's Standard Audit File for Tax Purposes data requests (monthly and on request) - now rolled out in various European countries - the start of a new beginning for better audits by the tax authorities?
  • Is it likely that tax authorities will get access to more sophisticated tax analytics tools?
  • Do companies need better risk management tools to meet tax objectives set derived from business objectives?
  • Do companies face additional tax risk due to (close to) real time data requests of the tax authorities - implemented for example in Brasil and will be in force in Spain per July 1, 2017 - and does it impact a company's audit defense, tax risk management, ERP systems and tax technology?
Without doubt, the answer to all questions is a resounding yes.

Source: From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax adviser | Richard H. Cornelisse | Pulse | LinkedIn

From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax advise

'Innovation' and 'Tax strategy' have my interest. In the UK the Executive has to sign off the company's tax strategy and publish. The strength of the UK approach is that the Executive has to take position and also has to keep its promise as a public statement is made.
This legal change realises that it has now become an Executive owned KPI to manage 'overall tax risks' resulting that the supervisory board and external auditor have the responsibility to audit 'in compliant or not' as the company might face reputational risks when that promise is not kept.

Without such Executive sign off not much would have changed tax function wise. At least that is the lesson learned from the Dutch initiative: 'Horizontal Monitoring' where such a sign off and public statement were missing.

Do you see the difference from a governance perspective?

Source: From tax strategy to artificial intelligence to automating the tax adviser | Richard H. Cornelisse | Pulse | LinkedIn

Sunday, January 15, 2017

PwC and GE deal: start of a new beginning?

PwC has taken over the global tax function of GE (600 people):

"We will also integrate GE’s tax technologies and end-to-end global processes into our own significant investments, allowing us to meet all of GE’s tax needs seamlessly. From compliance to deals to defense and controversies to sophisticated planning, our team will cover everything for GE while also providing that same expertise and access to tax technologies and process to other clients."

An unexpected move of one of the Big4 and tip of the hat is well deserved. The advantages are clear. A considerable amount of global tax industry knowledge that you can combine with PwC tax consultancy knowhow. The objectives for closing the deal are good, but in the execution realizing these synergies it often goes wrong. That risk should be remote as PwC Consulting supports multinationals in such change management exercises. I assume that this knowledge will now be used in-house.

Siemens

This deal is not entirely new. Siemens did a similar 'sale lease back' deal in 2000. Former employees of the central tax department of Siemens incorporated an own consultancy firm. The background for going independent was - if I understood correctly - that Siemens was involved in many M&A activities and when companies were sold historical tax knowledge was lost. That new company avoided such a loss.

Incident or a trend

Is this an incident or will after outsourcing routine work to Shared Service Centers of third parties vendors, the new trend be to outsource to third parties a Centre of Tax Excellence: a former in-house global tax function. 

Is that a market that private equity will see opportunities in - future IPO - or is now my fantasy completely taking over?  

"John Connolly, the former CEO of Deloitte is partnering with private equity firm HgCapital on an "audacious plan" that will include "a string of takeover deals" to build a new firm to compete with the Big 4" - Source Report: Former Deloitte UK CEO Planning a New Big 4 Firm

Maybe we should reinvent and transform ourselves in dealmakers/brokers.

On a more serious note it could change the tax market. Private equity could setup a new global tax competitor of the Big4 with a global network without audit services in such a way.

Independence rules

The Big4 are audits firms and that means that an auditor should not investigate during an audit himself including his tax colleague that has implemented for example a control framework or took managerial positions or implemented and configured own tax technology.

The tax market nowadays is about (publishing and sign off by senior management - UK - of a company's) tax strategy, tax transparancy and implement an effective tax control framework that you should be able to demonstrate and defend to the tax authorities.

When I was working at the Big4, it was not allowed to take managerial positions. I should always remain in my advisory role. That was also explicitly stated in the company's Terms and Conditions. 

In my dialy practice nowadays it is essential that you can explain in an elevator pitch where you differentiate from other players in the market. I always mention that we develop our own technology, do not only design but as well can implement and when necessary can take managerial positions. We do not provide audit services and therefore are independent. 

Where do I differentiate. Developing own technology in-house or implement the VAT determination logic in ERP systems itself, qualified in my time at the big4 as a red flag even if the client itself was not audited by the company I worked for. My consultancy work should always have left the door open for possible future work for my audit colleague. However, it could be that these rules have changed in the meantime.

If the entire tax team left to PwC, is it not logical that managerial positions are taken if they still work in the same capacity for GE. Do people that remain at GE still have the tax knowhow to make own decisions or will they follow PwC GE blindly. The latter does not apply if sufficient tax knowledge remains behind at GE who can make these tax judgement calls. An other option might be second opinions. GE hires another third party to do such tax management for them when needed. That would bring outsourcing again to a complete next level. Every problem has obviously its solution.

Spin off

In the past an 'One Stop Shop' model at the Big4 was allowed and when a company was audited also tax services could be sold. That has changed for obvious and well known reasons. 

Is the GE deal a trend and the end of the Big4 as we know it? 

What is the reason besides income sharing that both audit and tax services are provided under one roof. If (tax) technology and implementing are the future does that not bite with audit services. If tax management consultancy - how to realize tax function effectiveness - is the future, is it not important that you can be managerial from time to time and do the implementation yourself? I believe that tax management consultancy under these terms will be the tax profession of the future.

I have a reason for asking all these questions. It is in my own self interest. I always tell my clients to anticipate on new tax developments and take action. Should I not practice what I preach and make a SWOT analysis and when needed reinvent myself? 

That being said I have got sufficient time as I predict that any changes mentioned will probably not go that fast.

Am I wrong?

Richard H. Cornelisse

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Converting the sales middleman function from Commissionaire to LRD

The objective is to bring commissionaire arrangements within the framework of dependent agency PE. Companies are converting commissionaire to LRD. Once a commercial and tax-efficient structure is determined— one that addresses both historical and potential risk - it is time to take the theory behind the structure into the realm of practice.

Moving away from commissionaire structure

As businesses are facing global challenges it makes sense that the existing business model is reevaluated and amended when necessary to meet the new PE environment. A less risky model is the limited risk distributor (LRD).

That most likely means moving away from a commissionaire structure. Principal company sells to a master sales company (e.g., in the same country as the principal company) under a LRD agreement, and the master sales company resells through its local branches.

Note that the tax authorities might have an extra interest in auditing the conversion.

Read more: Converting the sales middleman function from Commissionaire to LRD