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Better use of technology for better tax control

I will not go into these lines to assess what would be the fair level of tax collection for each citizen, or, what amounts to the same thing, the greater or lesser greed of the Tax Administration.

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Better use of technology for better tax control

I will not go into these lines to assess what would be the fair level of tax collection for each citizen, or, what amounts to the same thing, the greater or lesser greed of the Tax Administration.

But what must go ahead is that the control of tax management is the last link in a chain that connects with an efficient fiscal policy, which in turn is part of an efficient economic policy, which is included in an efficient public policy. . The key to good public services lies in this taxation, so any improvement in its management results in a benefit for all.

The definition of the Tax Control Plan, as well as all its actions and management procedures, are included in article 116 and following of the General Tax Law. This control consists of the power granted to the Tax Administration to check the data on goods, rights, income or economic activities of those obliged to declare, and that can be obtained from the declarations presented by the latter or through selective collection actions. of information. Thanks to this, the detection of fiscal risks is facilitated, as well as an optimal selection of the obligors that will be verified.

Until the year 2000, the data obtained from these census and tax declarations were crossed with practically manual systems, relying on the efficiency and criteria of the Administration's workers. Since then, the evolution of technology and digital services has been constant, offering ever greater facilities (and automation) in tax control processes, encompassing:

A whole series of technologies at the service of the Tax Administration that, clearly, had to be regulated. For this reason, in January the general guidelines of the Annual Tax and Customs Control Plan for 2022 were published in the BOE, which basically includes the lines of action in this area. There are the so-called Comprehensive Digital Assistance Administrations (ADI), the platforms aimed at providing non-face-to-face information and assistance services through the use of different digital communication channels (virtual assistants, chat, video call, email, specialized outgoing call ...) with the aim of personalizing the service to the profile of each taxpayer. In addition, in the field of the digital economy, the Tax Agency wants to expand the verification of digital commerce, as well as implement both the new tax on certain digital services and greater control over transactions with virtual currencies.

To all of the above we must add that, thanks to the technological improvement of the rest of the Public Administrations, it is now possible to cross databases. An example of this would be the use of the information contained in the bases of the Mercantile Registry, the Property Registry, the Notarial Computerized Single Index... From the latter, the AEAT would obtain information contained in the Beneficial Ownership Database, that is, on the ownership of the shares of commercial companies and other legal entities, as well as data referring to the real ownership of all types of entities.

However, technological facilities not only benefit the Tax Administration, but also the filers themselves, making compliance with tax obligations more affordable (and understandable) and, therefore, promoting it. In the same way that they open the door to a transformation of the confrontational thinking between companies and AEAT, by promoting cooperation between both and the creation of a code of good practices that must be accompanied by social awareness plans on how the contribution benefits to the community.

Are we under greater scrutiny than before by the Administration? Yes we are. Are we therefore less likely to hide our tax data? Of course, but that is what it is about: that we gain more and more transparency, and make it progressively more difficult for those who refuse to contribute to the common good. Public services are the backbone of a strong and healthy country, capable of providing support to its citizens when needed. And its financing depends on tax collection, which we should stop conceiving as a decrease in our income, and rather as an investment to strengthen the Welfare State.

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