The project “Cross-border cooperation on the electronic exchange of tax information in the Baltic Sea Region” made preparations for a fast and secure exchange of tax related information between national tax authorities in the Baltic Sea region. The consortium behind this project gathered tax authorities and state agencies responsible for the development and maintenance of state information systems from three Baltic Sea region countries – Estonia, Sweden and Latvia.
Linking national databases provides vast benefits, as tax information can be automatically transmitted and queries made without delay to databases in other countries. Need-based queries and faster access to relevant data would allow for significant savings in time and money not only for tax authorities, but also for citizens who are engaged in economic activity beyond their country of residence. A joint data exchange platform would also help relevant authorities cooperate more closely and effectively on the issues of tax fraud and tax evasion.
The partners built on their knowledge of EU Large Scale Pilots working on cross-border service provision, good practices of cross-border data exchange (between Estonia and Finland), as well as analyses available on the topic. Reviewing the existing gaps and incompatibilities of current national applications, databases and legislature allowed the partnership to take the next step – agree on a secure electronic data exchange platform and prepare an investment project for the multilateral implementation of cross-border e-services, with a first focus on the exchange of data between tax authorities. Yet, this project must also be considered in a wider context, as proceeding past pilots to actual implementation of tax information exchange will act as a catalyst for further services and for implementation in other countries.
The partners organised three workshops to exchange experience and prepare the main stage investment project.
Three main outputs were prepared:
- State of play report in the field of electronic tax exchange in the Baltic Sea Region
- Plan for the main stage project
- Report on funding possibilities of the main state project