Three Internet stories…


A couple of hours ago an email came to my Outlook asking me to fill in a series of data to complete an identification process before the tax administration. That’s weird … but I read in the news that the tax administrations have continued to work during this phase of confinement that we have lived through, so. I imagine it is a genuine mail.

Within a few hours I receive a similar email informing me that last year’s tax refund process has been completed and that all that remains is to provide the bank account information to which to transfer the amount.

Neither short nor lazy, I completed both operations.

Days later, my acquaintance tells me, I see on Twitter a message from the Tax Administration warning of fraud in the processing of refunds. Quickly, I called my bank to be informed on how to operate to safeguard the security of my bank account and prevent it being emptied, using the data and my name that I myself had provided.

How could I fall into the trap…I wonder…?

A friend who has been living in Chile for a few months tells me that one afternoon he was able to carry out the following procedures.

He had to file the 2019 IRPF tax declaration in Spain but his wife did not have the authentication system-Key system-to be able to authorize the filing of the joint declaration so his wife told him to use the electronic signature.

But of course … he had no balance on the Spanish phone that he had registered to receive communications so he had to use his credit card, recharge the balance of the Spanish cell phone, download the app in the Apple Store to have the key system, receive the confirmation by SMS and continue with the declaration.

All right so far… but they own a property in Italy and did not remember the exact address of the property or the name of the tenant … all their documents are in Spain.

It occurred to him to enter the virtual office of the Italian administration and he could locate the property in detail and by Messenger, he contacted the tenant, who sent him a copy of the contract via WhatsApp…

He finally could submit his return. And all this in just over an hour… A success for the administrations involved … and hooray online…

I see in the CIAT news the following:

The first final Provision of Royal Decree-law 22/2020, of 16 of June, which regulates the creation of the COVID-19 Fund, introduces changes in articles 99 and 151 of the Tax code, to allow the use of digital systems to establish a bidirectional communication with simultaneous image and sound, and a visual, auditory and verbal interaction between the Administration and the taxpayers.

A new paragraph 9 is introduced in Article 99 on the development of tax actions and procedures.

This provision establishes the mandate for the administration to facilitate the fulfilment of their obligations by taxpayers, among other matters, refusing to submit documents that have already been submitted, recognizing the right to obtain certifications of the reverse charge filed, the right to obtain a copy at their expense of the proceedings, the right to make allegations or access to their administrative file. And to all this is added:

9. The actions of the Administration and taxpayers on the procedures of application of the taxes can be made through digital systems that, by videoconference or another similar system, enable the bidirectional and simultaneous communication of image and sound, visual, auditory and verbal interaction between the taxpayers and the acting agency, and to ensure the transmission and reception of secure documents that, in their case, pick up the result of the actions carried out, ensuring their authorship, authenticity, and integrity.

The use of these systems will occur when determined by the Tax Administration and will require the compliance of the taxpayer in relation to their use and the date and time of their development.”

It could not be clearer…

In addition, the recently approved rule does not forget to detail that the place of the control proceedings – inspection-is regulated in the tax law itself so it is necessary to consider this legal aspect in the possibility of digital proceedings.

Finally, providing that further regulatory development is necessary, the approved standard empowers the authorities in charge of the Ministry of Finance to dictate the provisions necessary for their development and implementation.

These three stories presented here show what I pointed out a few days ago … that the process of digitalizing tax administrations is much more than setting rules for teleworking.

We must pay attention to this whole process, with sufficient legal rigor and flexibility to ensure the validity and effectiveness of administrative action, while respecting the rights of taxpayers in a framework of high safety standards.



Disclaimer. Readers are informed that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author's employer, organization, committee or other group the author might be associated with, nor to the Executive Secretariat of CIAT. The author is also responsible for the precision and accuracy of data and sources.

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