Interviews

Invenio Works With Governments to Propose Best Taxation Practices

Martin Sobotka, the SVP and BU leader – Public Sector, for Invenio Business Solutions, speaks about how his company works with governments and institutions on implementing the best taxation practices in the region

How is Invenio helping governments in the VAT implementation process across the regions?
Invenio has specialised in recent years to support various countries in the region to implement VAT and Excise Tax solutions successfully including the integration of other tax types as per existing tax regimes. Due to our experience, we can propose the best taxation practices in our workshops to accelerate the implementation by avoiding the usual pitfalls and trial and error attempts we usually see in other software implementation projects.

Our consultants have many years of experience in the taxation space and have a solid legal background when it comes to propose and configure even complex taxation systems. Each implementation is, of course, unique to some extent but we have never failed a project delivery which grants us some merits and even some rewards in the region.

Which governments have you worked within the region? Please share the details.
We currently work with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Tell us about how Invenio works closely with SAP to implement its solutions?
SAP is our partner in success and we work with them to provide feedback on their standard delivery. Needless to say that we provide the implementation expertise by improving the software quality and to deliver more standard products extending the available software packages for our customers. These initiatives make their landscapes more stable, integrated, and upgradeable by avoiding custom development in their core business processes. I believe we are on solid ways to enhance most of the available solutions in the long run.

How can components such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine learning (ML), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) come into play when implementing these solutions?Technologies as such have always their advantages and disadvantages. Hence we are quite selective because any of the mentioned technologies must deliver a value-add to our customers. Machine Learning, for instance, can review large volumes of data and discover specific trends and patterns that would not be apparent to end-users. In case of compliance and payment behaviours, we have interesting outcomes however legislation does not always allow to change procedures although they would be highly recommended.

Artificial Intelligence is another emerging technology that tries to simulate human reasoning. Decisions are taken from the previously gathered information applying a certain set of algorithms for instance when it comes to debt recovery and success optimisations for pending filings or payments. We deploy collection strategies for our customers to identify the best recovery mode including a set of enforcement and other legal actions. Use cases for Robotic Process Automation can be found with complex data migration procedures and payment transactions.

How do your solutions fulfill the needs of taxpayers, tax officers, and tax agents?
The key to any solution is the ease of handling and automation wherever possible. Consequently, our solutions are focused on end-users that support the legal compliance and quick turnaround of any requests by using modern front-end technologies. Particularly from tax agencies that serve most of the large taxpayers, we like to hear their feedback at an early stage of implementing the solutions and we frequently involve them prior to any release to ensure that their requirements are fully met.

We enable multi-channel interaction for taxpayers and tax agents or tax advisors with the tax authority through different platforms namely online, mobile, IVRS, and social media. Providing a 24*7*365 access to a number of services, right from registration, returns filing, payments of tax bills, application of refunds, and raising requests for certificates, statements.

What sort of outlook do you have for the taxation regimen in this region?
We can clearly see government initiatives to extend the taxpayer base by introducing new taxes like Corporate or Personal Income Taxes. This obviously happens to stabilise financial budgets and to align across the region (see for instance Excise Taxes). After the first hurdles to get legislation in place and approved, these taxes can be then quickly introduced with rates that should be quite competitive in comparison to other economic zones.

There will be an emphasis on increasing the digitalisation of the whole taxation process in the post-COVID 19 eras. Tax authorities would like to incorporate technologies that make services more user-friendly, available across channels, and integrated across different agencies. These substantial changes will help tax agencies evolve into agile, modern, data-driven tax authorities in the future.

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