The annual 12th Group Indirect Tax Exchange, held in Amsterdam on 7-8 March 2019, and produced by Thought Leader Global, allowed finance professionals to see how leading multinationals are implementing new indirect tax initiatives within their operations; with the most notable topic being that of VAT challenges in travel. Representatives of top-tier organizations spoke about their professional experiences with issues of indirect tax. Attendees also networked with vendors in the VAT space taking home with them different approaches and technologies available to use to improve indirect tax strategy within their organizations.
Marcel de Wit, the Head of Tax at BCD Travel, a global travel management company with 13K+ employees and US$27.1B in annual sales, gave an illuminating talk surrounding VAT challenges in the travel industry. Specifically, Mr. de Wit explained the T&E challenges related to VAT, such as VAT law implications of B2B transactions for travel agents, invoice VAT compliance difficulties, and meeting the expectations of tax stakeholders through the rigorous capturing of travel data.
Tips for VAT Reclaim Challenges in Travel
Marcel de Wit gave three tips to address VAT reclaim challenges in travel:
- Ensure that indirect tax is well integrated into your travel policy.
- Educate employees about the importance of VAT compliant invoices.
- Make use of a VAT reclaim company to automate the entire T&E reclaim process.
De Wit discussed how their customers trust BCD Travel because they see them not as suppliers of their travel journey, but as partners. He highlighted that this makes them different from their competitors and their customers appreciate their investment in innovation and technology, which makes travel planning on their platforms simple and easy to benefit from.
BCD Travel & VATBox
He contributes the success of VAT reclaims to their partnership with VATBox, which allows the company to automate and optimize its customers’ VAT reclaim processes, improve invoice compliance, making their customer’s travel journey less stressful. With its ability to integrate with EMS solutions to better support open mobility, BCD Travel realized that VATBox was a good fit with its technology roadmap.
“We chose VATBox because we want to optimize our VAT reclaim process, simplify the administrative processes for our finance departments and to increase the compliance of our T&E invoices.”
Marcel de Wit
De Wit believes that the two companies combined add tremendous value to customers by providing insightful information regarding their total travel spend. In the past, travel data, EMS spend and credit card payment data all were separated. By bringing all the data together, total travel spending is clarified, eliminating some of the VAT challenges in travel, allowing companies to isolate any travel spending that is booked out of policy and provides the data needed by travel procurement teams to increase or decrease the bottom line in supplier contract negotiations.
Founded in 2012, VATBox has been revolutionizing the automated VAT recovery marketplace with its cloud-based solution that can be deployed in 30 minutes without any additional budget or IT resources. VATBox’s out-of-the-box solution handles reports, data collection, aggregation, qualification, submissions and the complexities that accompany these processes using a fully automated approach. VATBox implements the highest level of data security and compliance with all international rules and regulations of the various jurisdictions and offers companies 360⁰ visibility into their VAT spend and recovery. As a privately-held company, VATBox’s technological breakthrough has raised USD 50M in private equity funding and attracted a large portfolio of Fortune 500 clients.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!