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Innovation for the future

Tax authorities are increasingly implementing or expanding digital tax platforms, requiring businesses to file tax data online and in real time. To meet these requirements, Shell is looking at ways to improve our accounting systems and our data quality through the use of technology, including analytical tools for testing, assessment and interpretation of data. In 2021, we continued developing a programme to implement a new central finance software platform and a new accounting system.

More and more countries are introducing digital VAT regimes that allow for the direct transfer of data from company reporting tools to the tax authorities. In recent years, these regimes were introduced in Spain, Hungary, Poland, Norway, France, Portugal and Luxembourg. In addition to digital VAT regimes, e-invoicing (submission of real-time electronic invoices) requirements are also on the rise and expected to grow in years to come.

Tax authorities are also increasingly requesting access to our accounting systems. We are improving our data management to meet compliance and transparency requirements more efficiently.

We are also developing and deploying software for our reporting of indirect taxes. The software standardises, reconciles and classifies indirect tax data, such as VAT, with the appropriate tax treatment, helping in the preparation of tax returns. The tool is being used in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg and Belgium with further deployment planned in Asia-Pacific, namely Thailand, Australia, Indonesia; and in the USA.

To support indirect tax audits in the USA, we introduced our first in-house advanced data analytics tool using machine learning software in 2021. We plan to test this tool further before potentially deploying it globally.

An office with employees who are discussing ideas over their laptops or on whiteboards on the walls of the room.  (photo)
We are improving our data management to meet compliance and transparency requirements more efficiently.
Indirect taxes
Taxes raised on goods and services rather than income and profits. Examples include VAT, GST, sales tax, customs duties, excise duties, stamp duty, services tax, registration duty and transaction tax.
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Value-added tax (VAT) is a specific type of turnover tax levied at each stage in the production and distribution process. Although VAT is ultimately levied on the consumer when they purchase goods or services, liability for VAT is on the supplier of goods or services. VAT normally utilises a system of tax credits to place the ultimate and real burden of the tax on the final consumer and to relieve the intermediaries of any final tax cost. See Non-recoverable VAT.

In certain jurisdictions it is often referred to as a Goods and Services Tax (GST) or equivalent. See GST.

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