How digitalization shapes the future of taxation: trends, opportunities, and challenges

Friday, September 16, 2022, at 09:00-10:30 Vienna time (CEST)

Stefanie Geringer, Department of Tax Law, University of Vienna
Dmitri Jegorov, Resident revenue advisor (Western Balkans), IMF
Martin Riedler, Central Specialized Unit for Legal Affairs, Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance 

Markus Eller, Senior Economist, Joint Vienna Institute

The ongoing digital transformation of the economy will undoubtedly shape the future of taxation - a process to which considerable opportunities, but also notable challenges, are ascribed. Digitalization is already having an impact on taxation in several ways. For instance, the rapid growth in e-commerce – spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic - makes it an increasingly important part of the tax base. The growing use of cashless payments leaves a digital trail that can be audited by tax administrations. Requirements to file tax in a digital format, use electronic cash registers, or issue e-invoices can strengthen the efficiency of the tax system and enhance tax compliance, which, in turn, should improve revenue collection and widen a country’s fiscal policy space. Moreover, digital transformation could make tax administrations a central hub for real-time information on the state of an economy, which is not only useful for verifying tax information, but can also improve economic forecasting and lead to more targeted and timely formulation of economic policies. Despite these potential benefits, the scale and speed of change also pose significant challenges, including managing change, addressing the underlying complexity of the tax system, dealing with new potential Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) risks, providing the necessary legislation to keep up with digital advances, or delivering sufficient digital inclusion, data protection and cyber security.

Against this background, this panel discussion reviews recent trends and policy solutions and debates the related opportunities and challenges, drawing on the rich experience of renowned tax practitioners and academics. 


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