Pracovná skupina Európskej komisie “Taxes on single market” Brusel 5/6/2018

5 Júna 2018 sa zúčastnili delegáti SAMP Ing. Vladimír Sirotka, CSc. a Ing. Peter Andrišin pracovného rokovania skupiny Európskej komisie so zameraním na zlepšenie informačného systému o daňových, obchodných, dopravných, registračných a iných podmienkach ako podpora dostupnosti informácii pre MSP pri uplatnený sa na trhu EÚ.

 

GROW Workshop on “Tax information for businesses in the Single Market – 5 June 2018

 

  1. Context

This workshop was the first step in the implementation of a user-centric offer for EU wide online tax information services to cross-border business operators under the single digital gateway. By bringing together expertise on business operation, taxation, information provision and service design, the workshop aimed to obtain insights in user profiles, experiences and needs and to identify the areas where the single digital gateway can provide value. The discussion helped identify ways to present information, building on already existing tax information sources on the EU and the national level. A number of short presentations introduced the discussion sessions in the workshop. All discussion sessions followed the participatory leadership method, allowing the 16 selected participants to work in 4 small groups.

  1. Discussions

First, GROW clarified the context of the workshop by presenting an overview of the Single Digital Gateway and the current landscape for the provision of tax information in the Single Market. Based on their personal experience, the participants then developed user persona within this framework. In a second step, the participants were given information about the approaches of the Taxes in Europe Database (TAXUD), the Dutch Business Portal (NL) and Your Europe (GROW). A brainstorming on potential user information needs and constraints followed. In the third step, the groups identified situations triggering the use of the Single Digital Gateway, and ranked them from low to high complexity in terms of content and technical solution. Finally, GROW gave the participants the opportunity to provide individual feedback and informed the group of the next steps in the consultation process.

  • Participant’s suggestions

The participants identified profiles for potential users of tax information under the Single Digital Gateway.

User profiles

  • Intermediaries: a business consultant working for the chamber of commerce uses the Single Digital Gateway to provide basis information to their members
  • SMEs: exporters and importers need to have information on foreign tax systems in particular when expanding the business
  • Contract workers and self-employed working for limited periods of time on projects in different Member States need to know where and how to comply with tax law
  • Collaborative platforms: a collaborative platform that specialised in joint IT projects across the EU needs to determine its tax jurisdictions, tax status and the tax/legal relation with its co-workers
  • Investors: an investor in assets across Europe needs information on how these assets are taxed over their lifecycle to assess profitability
  • Manufacturers: a company assembling parts imported from abroad into a finished product for export
  • Academics: a tax professor looks for easily accessible and comparable base data that can be exported to analytical software
  • Startups: a young entrepreneur looking for quick and easy information on taxation using social media such as facebook, linkedIn and whatsapp
  • Micro-enterprises: a plumber performing jobs in other Member States looking for information and support to cope with different tax law

Based on the current situation, participants presented their initial findings on design elements that work and those that do not work, and proposed solutions.

What is working well?

  • The split between citizens and business on the landing page on Your Europe and the logical step-by step navigation guiding the user through business processes used on business.gov.nl
  • A combination of specific words that allow for quick retrieval in search engines, questions guiding the user through the portal, and clear and simple language that includes reference to the legal texts, the use of wizards and checklists
  • Content presentation needs to be situation and service-based, entrepreneurs need to be involved in content creation and information needs to be regularly updated
  • Videos and infographics explaining the basics of the information system, provide step-by step guides and complement the information system with a forum by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, maybe moderated
  • Your Europe provides a good basis, but should provide more contextual information. The MOSS portal is also considered as an example of good practice
  • The VIES system would be useful if it allowed for more detailed information on the customer, and, although the search engine for the Taxes in Europe Database renders it unusable for the average user, the information can be used as a first step in covering national taxes

What is not working well?

  • Relying only on a google-type search engine that returns different links might not be sufficient to guide the user through tax content
  • Silos with information scattered over different places, duplicate information, lack of integration of sources, offering information that is not relevant to the user situation
  • Legalistic and technical jargon, structure and text, texts based on google translate
  • Too much text, too many options, lack of use of infographics and video tutorials
  • Incomplete contact details and help functions

Design solutions:

  • Create a harmonised user experience: combine EU and national information
  • Work with layers: simplify existing tools and design a user-friendly interface on top
  • Restructure information: reduce the number clicks by designing user paths
  • Use selection options: citizen vs business, goods vs services; country A vs country B
  • Mix content types: articles, infographics, video, pictures, text, testimonials from entrepreneurs, to the extent this is valuable to users
  • Adapt language: start from terminology and viewpoint of the user
  • Elaborate help functions: entrepreneur forum, list of experts, administrative contacts

Participants mapped out tax situations in terms of complexity, both in relation to the tax question and the tool needed to provide the necessary information.

Prioritisation:

  1. Information on jurisdiction, procedures, tax questions that can be answered directly on EU level or national level and/or are frequently used (e.g. signposting to the information, corporate income tax, VAT registration, VAT on online services)
  2. Questions involving national information in cross-border situations (e.g. VAT obligations in other MS, basic information for business consultants, transfer of business, import/export rules)
  3. Multi-faceted and/or less frequent questions (e.g. collaborative platforms, tax position for alternative investments in different countries, taxation on income received from abroad, tax optimisation, information packages tailored to the user)

 

  1. Follow-up

The results of the workshop cover essential information on user profile and behaviour that is complementary to our knowledge of existing of information tools and technical design studies (e.g. VAT Portal) and the IT developments (e.g. Taxes in Europe Database).

Since the taxation issue is complex, the participants are motivated to assist the co-creation process and, as the mix of competences leads to creative discussions, it would be preferable to keep experts involved in the project.

A second workshop will take place at the latest in the first quarter 2019 to brief the participants on the follow-up of their input, to discuss the integration of taxation in the Single Digital Gateway pilot and to provide feedback on service design.