Seize the Opportunities in the era of Digitalization for a Better Future---Speech by Commissioner WANG Jun at the Second Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum

updated:2021-09-09    

(7 September 2021)


Honorable Ministers, Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, representatives from International Organizations, academies and business sector, experts, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
 
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. The golden wind sends coolness and pleasure, andosmanthus fragrance builds the dream. I am very pleased to attend the Second Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Forum, and meet you online in this beautiful season. As the first BRITACOM Council Chair, I would like to take opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Ali Altynbayev and the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of Kazakhstan for providing such a platform of getting together. At the same time, I would also like to extend my sincere greetings to the honorable guests, friends, both old and new, and offer my warm congratulations to the holding of the Second BRITACOF.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends! 2 years ago, we pooled our consensus and drew blueprint in the picturesque Wuzhen of China, openning a new chapter of the Belt and Road initiative tax cooperation. Today, we meet at the top of cloud, and exchange ideas on the digitalization of tax administration capacity building, we will further expand the blueprint of the BRI tax administration Cooperation.It’s a pity that we couldn’t reunite at the dynamic and vigorous Nur-Sultan. However, as an old Chinese saying goes, those who are determined to cooperate will not be separated by mountains and oceans. I’m looking forward to work with all of my friends on the flagship of BRI tax cooperation to sail far and further, into the bright future of the BRITACOM.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends! The past 2 years witness the BRITACOM transforming from an idea to solid actions, from a vision to realities with our common efforts. Especially against the background of the covid-19 pandemic since 2020, the BRITACOM parties hasn’t stopped and even move forward and make its contributions to the global fight against pandemic and inject important impetus into global economic recoveryfrom the perspective of taxation through helping each other in the difficult time. As the first BRITACOM Council Chair, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all my friends who have been supporting the development of the BRITACOM.
 
The past 2 years witness the effectiveness and high-quality development of the BRITACOM safeguarded by the Secretariat set up in Beijing. With our common efforts, we established the BRITACEG, set up multiple BRI tax academies, open the official website, and published theBelt and Road Initiative Tax Journal. 
 
The past 2 years witness the BRITACOM yielding rich fruits. Since the 1st BRITACOF, we have fulfilled all tasks written in Wuzhen Action Plan (2019-2021) within the timeframe and in high-quality adhereing to the Wuzhen Statement. We organized over 20 virtual meetings, supported the combat against the covid-19 pandemic, promoted development, and provided a normalized platform of communication to the tax authorities of the BRI jurisdictions, to address new challenges in new era. The BRITACOM Council has been expanded continuously, including 36 Council Member Tax Administrations and 30 Observers.
 
The past 2 years witness a closer interaction among different parties over tax administration. BRITACEG parties have made unremitting efforts. In particular, relying on BRI tax academies in Yangzhou China, Nursultan Kazakhstan, Macao China and Beijing China, we do high-quality studies and launched 26 training programs on international tax administration to over 1200 tax officials from 71 jurisdictions, so as to widely enhance capacity building of tax administration in BRI jurisdictions.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends! 
 
The Second BRITACOF focuses on digitalization of tax administration, which not only conforms to the trend of the times, but also responds to the need of development. Chinese government attaches great importance to digitalization. Chinese president Xi Jinping emphasized that digitalization is an important basis for national governance, and it is necessary to use digitalization to promote the modernization of the national governance system and capabilities.Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that it is necessary to use big data, cloud computing, internet of things and other information technology to improve the convenience of public services. In recent years, Chinese tax administrations have continuously enhanced the application of information technology, strengthened the construction of information systems, and promoted in-depth data governance, which has achieved positive results. Here, I would like to share with you the exploration and practices of Chinese tax administrations in capacity building on digitalization over recent years.
 
Firstly, giving full play to the supporting role of technology. Nowadays, the innovation of information technology progresses with each passing day. Chinese tax administrations conform to the development tide of information technology revolution, and give full play to the supporting role of information technology. We are committed to applying advanced information technology in innovative ways, promoting the application of new technologies such as cloud computing, blockchain in tax, building the largest e-government production transaction cloud---tax cloud platform, so as to support the centralized operation of various tax application system. We are committed to fully strengthening the construction of digitalizaiton projects, launching and continuously optimizing the unified digitalizaiton project of the national tax system - Golden Tax Phase 3, which has dealt with nearly 10 billion items annually, covered 800,000 internal users from tax administrations, and included over 100 million taxpayers and other external users since its launch, laying a solid digitalization foundation for building a optimized, efficient, and unified tax administration system. We are committed to constantly improving the application system of digitalization, building four systems including tax collection system, administrative management system, external information system, and decision supporting system, which strongly supports the stable and efficient operation of tax related work. For example, we have established the national unified tax management system for natural person, initially established the national unified tax archives for natural person, exploring a brand new path of digitalization for innovating the tax administration service model of natural person. 
 
Secondly, giving full play to data in empowering tax administration. Data is a key factor in promoting digitalization, and it's prominent that it could multiply the country's governance system and governance capabilities. STA's efforts in mining the gold of tax data in the past years have  achieved remarkable results after years of hard work. Our data volume is even larger. The cloud platform alone covers the tax data of 34 million corporate taxpayers, 31 million self-employed taxpayers and 300 million individual taxpayers, and more than 1 billion fee payers, the total data volume amounting to 3PB(petabyte). Our data processing is faster. Almost all data could be collected in T + 1 days. For instance, VAT invoice data and tax filing data, could be aggregated after 12 o'clock of the day. Tax revenue data could even been updated in real time, refreshed per second. We could collect more detailed data by drilling into the specific situation of each taxpayer. Especially by building a VAT invoice management system, we establish a database which covers every piece of information on each VAT invoice, and the overall transaction of goods and services flow status as well as the management of each piece of the invoice, reflecting the production and operation of each enterprise in real time. Tax big data has played an important role in preventing and controlling tax risks, optimizing taxpayer services, standardizing tax law enforcement, and supporting macro-decision-making, thus giving rise to the role of taxation in assisting national economy and social management.
 
Thirdly, giving full play to the role of data in leading tax administration. Digitalization is the pioneer of innovation and the transformation of driving power. The STA have adhered to the principle of promoting taxation through science and technology, accelerating the deep integration of modern information technologies, big data for example, and tax administration, and innovating   taxpayer services. What's more, we completely reformed the way of tax payment. As the "Non-contact" way to do tax matters has become the first choice of taxpayers, 90% of tax matters and 99% of tax filing could be done online, and with smart phones. At the end of last year, the function of collecting social security premiums paid by enterprises and individuals was assigned to the STA, and in June this year, the transactions of social security premiums could  also be done  online. Furthermore, we have realized the intelligentization of taxpayer service.  We use big data to provide huge number of individual taxpayers with pre-filing service in their annual tax settlement, thus turning the complicated "person looking for data" into the simple "number looking for person". In the filing season of 2020, 98.7% of taxpayers used the "pre-filing" service. We built up a nationwide system of tax knowledge tags, consisting of 4,219 tags in 9 categories and 4 levels. With this tag system, we could accurately screen taxpayers who meet the conditions of certain tax benefits, and deliver relevant tax policies in a timely manner. Since the beginning of this year, it has benefited 456 million taxpayers' payers. Besides, we enhanced the accuracy of tax supervision. Relying on big data and intelligent monitoring and early warning, we established a risk index model which covers all tax types and administration procedures, to accurately crack down on actions which breach the law. For example, we could monitor and rapidly respond to the risks of VAT invoices, and the accuracy is over 90%.By doing so, we created a new type of supervision model based on dynamic risk assessment, which means we do not disturb the taxpayers with high credibility and low risk, while effectively respond to those with low credibility and high risk, realizing differentiated and accurate supervision.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends!
 
At present, the accelerated development of information technology and digitalization generates new business modes and profoundly restructure the way we live and do business, and this brings both opportunities and challenges to tax administration. In contrast, the STA still has some inadequacies in exploring the potential of big data and the application of algorithms. In March this year, China issued the "Opinions on Further Deepening the Reform of Tax Administration", making an overall plan for the development of tax reform during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period and drawing the blueprint for building China's intelligent tax administration. According to the "Opinion", we will build a national e-invoice service platform this year, providing taxpayers with 24 houronline service of invoice application, issuance, delivery, and inspection etc. In the next few years, we will expand e-invoice to cover all relevant fields, the whole procedure of invoice issuance and all information on invoices. Empowered by bigdata, we will take the e-invoice reform as a breakthrough to digitalize and intelligentize tax administration, and strive to leverage the electronic finance, business and even the digitalization of the whole society. 
 
Our goal is to integrate the internal and external tax-related data and the online and offline taxpayer service, and comprehensively reform the tax law enforcement, taxpayer service and supervision mechanism. After the reform, all tax-related information could be effectively sorted and integrated to one entity, one individual, one tax-office and one tax official, and intelligent tax administration featured by high level of integration, security, effectiveness would be basically established. After the reform, taxpayers could not only completely make tax filing on-line, but also enjoy the automatic calculation of tax payable. Our ability in targeted law enforcement, streamlined taxpayer service, accurate supervision and sincere co-governance would be promoted, making greater contribution to the modernization of national governance. 
 
Ladies and gentlemen, friends!
 
The times of digitalization requires for a better IT construction in tax administration. More and more countries are expecting for breakthroughs in this regard. To this end, I would like to initiate three proposals:
 
Firstly, let's strengthen communication on the digitalization of tax administration. Representatives of all parties to this meeting will share their experience in digitalization capacity-building, and we will hear helpful suggestions from international organizations, experts and scholars. It is hoped that the role of multilateral tax platforms, including BRITACOM would be further brought into play. Through holding forums on digitalization of tax administration and other means, our communication and interaction will be more extensive, so as to help us better understand the status quo of each member jurisdiction's level in digitalization, and better share experiences and information to support the continuous growth of capacity building.
 
Secondly, let's enhance our assistance to the training programs on taxation digitalization. We could make full use of the OECD-Yangzhou Multilateral Tax Center, the BRITACEG and its Tax Academies to enhance input into tax training and technical assistance on digitalization in the BRI jurisdictions. Hereby, I sincerely invite you to second trainers to support or participate in our training programs and I'm also expecting to your valuable opinions on this.
 
Thirdly, let's accelerate the construction of the BRITACOM. Let's make the most of the BRITACOM enhance mutual learning and best practice sharing, and promote the modernization of tax governance in BRI jurisdictions as well as the high-quality economic growth. Let's build a more comprehensive cooperation mechanism, set up more platforms and channels for cooperation, innovate our cooperation in more fields, and launch more effective cooperation projects. Let's strengthen the interaction among member jurisdictions and observers, and with international organizations and professional institutions. Let's make good use of the official website and the journals of the BRITACOM to forge a series of public knowledge products with the characteristics of BRI. Within this year, we will upload four primary online training courses, including tax dispute resolution, digitalization of tax administration, taxpayer service and VAT reform, gradually establish a systematic, professional, and high-standard curriculum, build an international, diversified, professional and compound trainer team, and issue authoritative, normative, and high-value training certificates.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, friends!
 
President Xi Jinping once quoted a proverb of Kazakhstan, which goes like "Where there is solidarity, there is happiness." I believe, with our common efforts, we will surely embark on a road of happiness and mutual benefits, which would lead us to a win-win future. Let us embrace the historical opportunity of information revolution with cooperation; let's open a new page in digitalization reform with hard work; let's fortify our cooperation within the framework of the BRITACOM and make further contribution to the recovery of world economy.
 
I sincerely hope that the 2nd BRITACOF will be a complete success. Wish every friend good health and happy life!
 
 
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