Dear IVA Members,
I would like to share with you some of the important highlights of the last year, 2014 and the development of our Association.
- In 2014 18 new members joined our Association (33% more than in 2013)
- 8 new countries are now represented since January 2014: Brazil, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Sweden.
- Currently we have 82 ordinary members + 11 temporary members, representing 28 countries and 2 honorary members.
- The first awards for members’ contributions were awarded at the Brussels meeting.
2. Biannual Conferences
- The Autumn conference in Brussels was a record breaking event in the IVA’s history:
- It was the most attended IVA conference ever with 87 delegates.
- It had the highest number of representatives from Tax Authorities and Administrations – with over 10 speakers and workshop leaders.
- It had the highest number of high level speakers at any IVA conference to date.
- Big increase in the range of the topics covered in the plenary and workshop sessions.
- The Spring Conference in Madrid had an excellent attendance as well with nearly 70 delegates present and many high level speakers who attended for the first time, with a business speaker (Chris Needham) giving a different perspective.
3. Lobbying activities
- The Board of the IVA sent an official letter to the French Tax Authorities regarding the problem with the invoices not being attached to a claim because of the 5MB limit and possible rejections.
- The Board sent a letter to the French administration re the application of the standard tax audit file – FEC – to non-established companies.
- The Board of the IVA sent an official letter to the German Tax Authorities regarding the problems with the MSE portal.
- The Board of the IVA sent an official letter to the EC regarding the problems with the Croatian portal.
- Follow-ups with the Commission re problems with German claims following our ‘complaint’.
- An official face-to-face meeting was organiseed between the officials of the Dutch Tax Authorities, Hilde Blontrock – a member of the Board, and Marja van den Oetelaar – member of the IVA, where the following topics were discussed: problems with the refund of VAT via the Refund procedure (Directive 2008/9/EC), issues with the correspondence between the Belastingdienst and intermediaries, delays with the submitted claims, problems with the bank account indicated in the VAT refund claim.
- Problems with excise duties in Belgium – IVA formed a working group in October 2014 with Hilde Blontrock as the leader. – Work in progress
- The IVA has maintained its registration as a Lobbying Body with the European Commission;
- The IVA has increased its visibility with other institutions e.g. the OECD.
- The IVA has been appointed as a member of the VAT Expert Group.
- Work on the harmonization of the rules for the acceptance of simplified invoices is continuing.
4. Networking and communication
- 14 Newsletters, 2 communiques from the President, 4 essential VAT news and warnings from our members were circulated to the IVA members.
- The work on improving the quality and relevance of the Newsletters is continuing. Over the last year a more active participation from members in providing local VAT news.
- The IVA Administrator has solved successfully over 25 cases raised from the membership this year.
5. Financial status
- Stable financial discipline and collectability achieved of outstanding subscriptions
- IVA is living within its means and the reserves have been rebuilt to allow the Association to undertake further activities for the benefit of all members in 2015
6. IVA webpage
- The IVA web page became very informative and full of very valuable VAT information.
- The Members’ area is now completed.
- The webpage reached 995 visits per month from all over the world.
- More and more potential members are approaching IVA through the IVA webpage
7. LinkedIn Group
- We have 123 members in the IVA group at present, which is a 50% increase since 2013.
- The Group became more active - 47 discussions have been initiated in the group this year.
- We are following other VAT groups in LinkedIn in order to keep you updated.
The Association has made enormous progress over the last two years, this is due to all of your collective efforts, those of the Board and I would like to mention in particular the work and support from the SKM team, Stoicho, Alexandra and Radostina.
2015 will be another challenging year, the world of VAT/GST is changing rapidly, the Commission will be moving forward on a number of key issues and the OECD will betaking an ever increasing role in the development and harmonization of indirect tax systems globally. All of this means that our Association has a fantastic future ahead.
Hope to see you all in Berlin.
Stephen Dale – the Chairman of IVA