International forum
"Tax ecosystem:
people and technology"
Moscow, April 27-28, 2023

The international forum "Tax Ecosystem: People and Technology" was held in Moscow on April 27-28, 2023. The forum focused on the prospects for business and public administration digitalization, as well as the sharing of best practices and innovations in tax administration transformation.

Daniil Egorov, the Commissioner of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, opened the International Forum "Tax Ecosystem: People and Technology".

In his speech he mentioned the importance of having the platform that brings together professionals from around the world with various experiences, perspectives, and cultures and emphasized the significance of cooperation and mutual respect to avoid potential issues and obstacles.

Daniil Egorov firmly believes that such meetings and forums lay the groundwork for effective communication, ultimately leading to a better, more convenient world where technology serves as a valuable tool.

450+ participants
50+ foreigners
10+ countries
40+ speakers
International forum
"Tax ecosystem: people and technology"
Moscow, April 27-28, 2023

HR Management 2023: Challenges from the Leaders’ Perspective

Technology has transformed our way of life over the last decade. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the current political and economic environment, are still having an impact on us as individuals.

Leaders have long embraced digitalization, cutting-edge software, and process automation in their pursuit of efficiency.

During the discussion, participants debated whether a leader should prioritize people or technology today. They also investigated the primary HR challenges that their organizations face as digital transformation unfolds.

The panel discussion was moderated by Veronika Prischepa, Head of the Human Resources and Organizational Culture Directorate.

Daniil Egorov emphasized the significance of investing in organizational transformation and fostering new forms of communication to establish human-centricity.

Orhan Nazarli, Commissioner of the State Tax Service under the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Robinson Barerinas, Special Secretary of the Federal Revenue of Brazil, Johnstone Makubu, SARS Chief Revenue Officer, noted the importance of working with employees, since it is increasingly difficult for state organizations to compete with the commercial sector and shared plans for digitalizing personnel processes, as well as training with new competencies and technologies.

Gleb Nikitin, Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, spoke about the region's experience in human resource management, stating that "attracting and retaining labor resources, talent development, and creating favorable conditions for a high quality of life and productive work are unquestionable benchmarks for regional development."

Vladimir Kirienko, Director General at VK Company Limited, discussed organizational support programs and measures while Irina Bykhovskaya, Partner and Tax, Law and Business Support Leader at B1, emphasized the importance of finding efficient ways to invest in personnel and creating favorable conditions.

Digitalization of International Trade: Barriers and Opportunities

Electronic data interchange (EDI) technology can significantly simplify and accelerate international trade by reducing business transaction costs, including time for processing documents and interaction with government authorities.

The exchange of legally binding electronic documents ensures transparency and timely access to cross-border trade data, which will eventually transform international trade governance and control by reducing the number of permits required and eliminating business reporting.

The objectives of the discussion, consisting of two sessions, were to determine trends in development of international EDI and identify barriers and opportunities for digitalization of cross-border trade in the EAEU and CIS.

Yuri Malinin, president of the Association of Developers and Operators of Electronic Services Systems (ROSEU), moderated the panel discussion.

Daniil Egorov, Commissioner of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, stated that the evolution of electronic data interchange has reached a stage where it is important to consider its future direction: whether to persist with traditional document copying practices or shift towards a more efficient form of data exchange.

The discussion was attended by Alexey Sazanov, the State Secretary - the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, and Ruslan Davydov, the Acting Commissioner of the Federal Customs Service of Russia who shared their experiences in digitalizing the activities of Russian ministries and departments.

Rustam Badasyan, Commissioner of the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia, outlined a pilot project with the Federal Tax Service of Russia to employ EDI in cross-border trade operations. In the future, authorities want to establish a single electronic platform within the EAEU that businesses can use to create documents.

Tatyana Bakalchuk, Founder and CEO of Wildberries, expressed businesses' willingness to digitize and emphasized the importance of mutual recognition of electronic digital signatures (EDS) between countries and the transition to seamless data exchange.

The discussion was also attended by Yann Duval, Chief of the Trade Policy and Facilitation Section of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and Tahseen Ahmad Khan, Vice Chair of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT). Foreign experts shared their experiences in developing and implementing a Framework Agreement to facilitate cross-border paperless trade in Asia-Pacific.

Sergey Kiryushkin, Adviser to The General Director – Head of “Gazinformservice” Certification Center, moderated this expert panel discussion on existing barriers to cross-border EDI development in the EAEU.

The main aim of implementing cross-border EDI, as highlighted by Alexey Paukov, Director General of "Electronic Express" at GARANT company, is to promote international trade through electronic methods and to ensure equal treatment for both paper and digital documents, thus improving the efficiency of specific trade relations with the Russian Federation.

Victor Gridnev, Director of the Eurasian Development Bank's Digital Initiatives Directorate, discussed the challenges and prospects for an international treaty on mutual recognition of electronic digital signatures. Alla Kryzhanovskaya, Expert at Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, shared insights on how to align such a treaty with current international initiatives, particularly those within the CIS.

Alexander Plahov, a leading expert at "Law of High Technologies LLC," focused on global legal standards for mutual recognition of electronic digital signatures. He also touched on the history and implementation of ESCAP's Framework Agreement on facilitating cross-border paperless trade in Asia-Pacific, as well as the prospects for its ratification by the Russian Federation.

Oleg Vinnichenko, Executive Director of Public Sector Digital Solutions Directorate at PJSC Sberbank, spoke about the harmonization of processes, document sizes, and data exchange protocols in cross-border EDI.

The discussion also covered the existing experience of online interaction between Russian companies and foreign organizations. Dmitry Klass, Managing director at the Simple Signature LLC, and Olzhas Issagaliuly, Head of Business Development at DOCSKZ LLP (Republic of Kazakhstan), shared their experiences in implementing cross-border EDI projects between organizations in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Alexey Shilnikov, Head of Cross-Border EDI at SKB Kontur, discussed the specifics of implementing a pilot project with China. Elena Tkachenko, Head of the "Expert Council "Electronic Documents - Effective Economy" Project and Leader of the PoA Working Group under NPO "Digital Economy," presented statistical data on the business benefits of implementing cross-border electronic data interchange.

Taxation of Digital Companies and Digital Business Models

The FTS of Russia and the National Institute of Financial Research of the Ministry of Finance held a joint seminar to discuss current practice and prospects for the development of direct and indirect taxation of digital companies and business models in developing economies, considering the global tax reform BEPS 2.0.

Seminar’s moderator Sergey Shatalov, Chief Researcher of the Tax Policy Center of the Financial Research Institute under the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, noted that the digitalization of the economy is significantly changing the rules of taxation for digital business models around the world. Solutions are being developed to eliminate or reduce the issue of double taxation of global profits for foreign companies that are highly digitalized and have a significant economic presence in the country.

Karina Ponomareva, Leading Researcher, Financial Research Institute under the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, shared insights into the taxation of digital business models and the factors that contribute to the value creation of digital multinational corporations. She presented the findings of a study conducted for the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation titled "The development of a taxation mechanism for the global profits of foreign companies with high levels of digitalization and significant economic presence in Russia."

Iroda Abboskhonova, Director of the Fiscal Policy Department at the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan, shared her experience of implementing tax breaks for IT companies in Uzbekistan.

Vladimir Golishevsky, Deputy Head of International Cooperation and Capital Movement Directorate of the FTS of Russia, spoke about the rules for allocating multinational corporations' taxable profits among source countries. This included profits from providing digital services (Pillar 1) and the rules of global minimum taxation on profits of multinational corporations (Pillar 2).

During the discussion, Alexey Katyaev, Head of the Largest Technology, Media, and Telecom Companies Tax Office of the FTS of Russia, presented the Russian experience in registering and administering foreign taxpayers who provide online services. He also presented tax strategies in the IT industry.

Dmitry Kornev, Head of Tax Department at MTS Limited Company, highlighted the key features of digital business models, the distinguishing characteristics of digital companies, and why taxation of such organizations has recently become a hot topic.

Digital Transformation of Tax Administration: The Role of a Client-Centric Approach

The discussion was devoted to the client-centric approach in digital tax administration.

The discussion aimed to highlight the most recent tools for building trust among citizens, business leaders, and tax experts. This involves tailoring approaches to taxpayers' needs throughout their lifecycle and proactively informing them of new opportunities.

The panel discussion was moderated by Alina Galeeva, Head of the Organizational Development and UX/UI Directorate at the FTS of Russia. She presented current results of incorporating human-centric principles into the activities of Federal Tax Service, emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of respect for individuals, their opinions, differences, and needs by increasing trust in the government and creating conditions for effective, simple, and convenient interaction with citizens, business representatives, and public officials.

Speakers from the tax administrations of China, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Azerbaijan shared their national experiences in implementing a client-centric approach.

Zhang Yunzeng, Director of Tax Publicity Division of the Tax Service Department at the STA of China, emphasized the importance of effective interaction between taxpayers and tax administration. Dinara Kushubaeva, Head of Public Services Department at the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, spoke about Kazakhstan's client-centric management model, emphasizing the active development of a human-centric approach to creating a model for delivering tax services.

During his presentation, Kyamran Narimanov, Head of Quality Assurance Division of Tax Service Department at the State Tax Service under the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, discussed the client-centric approach in Azerbaijan. This includes collecting and processing feedback and assessing taxpayer satisfaction with the State Tax Service's activities.

Chulpan Gossamova, Deputy Head of the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation and Head of the Development Center "State for the People," highlighted the values and tools for implementing a client-centered government approach. She also focused on the experience and prospects of implementing the federal project "State for the People." The FTS of Russia received high praise for its efforts to integrate client-centric tools into the culture of tax authorities, with a particular emphasis on the FTS of Russia's Manifesto of Human-centricity.

Julia Andreeva, Executive Director of the Plain Language Center and Program Director of the Center for Modern Communications at the RANEPA Graduate School of Public Administration, spoke about communication traditions and modern interaction requirements. She discussed the limitations of humanity and the role of digitalization in communication. She emphasized the importance of clear language and empathetic speech in building people's trust in state government bodies.

During the discussion, Oleg Logvinov, Information Technology Director of the New Mining Management Company LLC, emphasized the importance of internal values, organizational culture, and leader involvement in kicking off client-centric transformation.

Cross-Border Transactions: Tax Agency’s Approach

The workshop was aimed at sharing experiences among tax agencies regarding the control of cross-border transactions using current international tax law rules and institutions.

Alexandra Kadet, Head of Transfer Pricing Directorate, FTS of Russia, moderated the 4-session workshop.

During the workshop, Lubov Volkova, Head of the Largest Multinational Companies Tax Office of the FTS of Russia, and Elena Suvorova, Head of Largest Taxpayers Directorate of the FTS of Russia, shared insights into the pre-audit analysis of cross-border transactions for major taxpayers. They emphasized the importance of having highly qualified staff directly impacting the efficiency of tax control measures.

Ludmila Katulevskaya, Senior Executive Director – Director of Tax Department at Sberbank, and Irina Bykhovskaya, Partner, Tax, Law and Business Support Leader at B1, presented the latest cross-border business models, highlighting issues arising during pre-audit analysis, and underscored key aspects of interaction with tax authorities using this mechanism.

Anastasia Smotritskaya, Deputy Head of Transfer Pricing Directorate of the FTS of Russia, acted as a tax inspector in this session’s case study, questioning the taxpayer about a loan from a foreign parent company.

Galina Akchurina, Partner, Tax Dispute Resolution Group at Kept, who served as the tax consultant in the preceding case study, explained the taxpayer's rights and obligations, describing the steps involved in determining income as a loan and emphasizing the importance of aligning legal documentation with economic substance.

Natalia Denisova, Head of Tax Department at Sanofi, representing the taxpayer, stated the tax implications of mentioned transaction and the rationale for treating expenses as interest for profit taxation purposes in that particular case.

Ruslan Shvedkov, Financial Director at BNS Group, spoke about the general theory of financing, emphasizing that the tax factor is not determinative in structuring a transaction and explaining the financial strategy used in the preceding case.

Igor Pokidko, Deputy Head of Transfer Pricing Directorate of the FTS of Russia, explained how royalties are determined by tax administrators, as well as approaches to setting the market rate of royalties for taxation purposes.

Andrey Gorodnichev, Head of Transfer Pricing Tax Office of the FTS of Russia, spoke about the tax authority's approach to analyzing royalties transactions. He focused on the DEMPI concept, which was published by the OECD in 2015. This concept implies that when determining prices for transactions involving intangible assets, each party is entitled to fair compensation for performing the functions of the assets as well as the risks associated with trademark development, improvement, preservation, utilization, and protection.

Natalia Kozlova, Partner at Technologies of Trust, emphasized the importance of dialogue between taxpayers and tax authorities during pre-audit analysis, as proper structuring logic can provide information justifying business operations in a specific way, the choice of jurisdiction for trademark registration, and the amount of remuneration, all of which can address tax authorities' questions without tax audits.

Mikhail Volkov, Deputy Head of Division of the Transfer Pricing Directorate of the FTS of Russia, highlighted the uniqueness of royalty taxation and explained the UN and OECD Model Conventions on the avoidance of double taxation.

Alexey Nesterenko, Partner at FBK Legal, explained the reasons for recognizing a beneficial owner of income, specifically functionalities and risks.

Kirill Vikulov, Partner at Melling, Voitishkin & Partners, stated that according to the OECD Model Convention comments, a person does not have the beneficial ownership if it transfers income under a related liability to receive that income. Vitaly Zvankov, Head of Legal Directorate of the FTS of Russia, emphasized the role of beneficial ownership in the OECD Model Convention as a tool for combating tax evasion within double taxation agreements.

Workshop for tax officials. Human Capacity Building and HR Tools’ Implementation

The workshop focused on strengthening human resources and implementing modern HR technologies in the public sector. The event was held as part of the first full-time module of the Knowledge Sharing Programme on Human Resources in EAEU and CIS tax administrations.

HR specialists from tax administrations and other government agencies in the EAEU and CIS countries, as well as leading HR experts, were invited to participate.

  • Rationale for enhancing HR function
  • Transformation of the HR function in the public service and its specifics
  • Application of new modern HR technologies and trends in working with personnel
  • HR Maturity Diagnostics
  • HR management policy in public service
  • Employees recruitment to governmental agencies
  • Modern methods of HR assessment and recruitment
  • Evaluation of management and team development
  • Institute of Effective Events
  • Assess employees’ loyalty
  • Engagement assessment