VAT data management, with or without ERP
A key challenge for wise COOs
Tax data management is a crucial task for companies. In the current fiscal environment and considering the increasingly high number of VAT audits, it may be wise to conduct a serious check of the VAT data available in the system.
Experience shows that VAT data management is a particularly thorny issue. There are a number of possible reasons for this, but the nature of the tax itself is likely to be the central issue. VAT is a transaction tax, meaning that the data to be collected in order to prepare and support the VAT-related returns and appendices is very specific.
For indirect tax purposes, this data may be completely different to the usual information that is easily found in financial statements.
For example, a company has to know and keep record of the following for VAT purposes: the place where the recipient of a service is established, the location of the goods when a sale takes place, the VAT identification number of customers, the identification of the physical flow of goods, etc. Gathering this standard basic
information is often difficult in itself but, depending on the operational model and/or if the company belongs to an international group, collecting and storing the relevant information for VAT purposes can be extremely challenging.
As the highest-ranking executive responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company, a COO must be aware of these possible difficulties and pitfalls. A quick overview of European-level VAT compliance requirements illustrates how challenging VAT data
management can be.
Inside magazine issue 4, March 2014
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