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  • Digitalization of the Administration: Priority actions for the continuity of services
Article:

Digitalization of the Administration: Priority actions for the continuity of services

21 April 2020

In this difficult period, affecting the various economic players with full force, all focus is directed towards maintaining a minimum level of services by the various administrations. It’s now and never to activate immediately and without delay projects to digitize administrative services. Here are some thoughts that seem to me to be a priority in order to unlock the most basic needs of our economic fabric:

I. National Electronic Certification Agency

1. Provide a paid service for delivery of electronic certificates to the addresses indicated when submitting the request, with a telephone appointment with the applicants to organize delivery. The current service only allows delivery to certain Tunisian post offices (Only one for the Governorate of Ben Arous for example).

II. Ministry of Finance

1. Implementation of an online membership service to the online tax declaration platform, allowing to provide the information and documents required for membership, to download the direct debit authorization signed and endorsed by the bank in electronic format (PDF), and obtain the remote access codes for taxpayers who wish to pay by direct debit authorizations.

2. Provide the possibility for the electronic declaration system to pay by a bank card, certain taxpayers whose activity is on hold do not always have professional bank accounts sufficiently supplied on the date of the declaration and so they will be able to pay by personal bank cards. Thus, direct debit authorization should not be compulsory especially for newly incorporated companies or company under liquidation process.

3. Establishment of a platform for updating, online, the legal file of companies with the tax authorities, by downloading a scanned copy containing the modifications or managing the general filing obligations (legal audit reports, shareholders meeting minutes,)

4. Establishment of an online platform for tax purchase clearance orders with an electronic receipt bearing the signature of the Ministry of Finance with a QR Code, allowing the import of the file currently deposited manually on electronic support at the level of tax control offices. This procedure can be replaced in the long term by computerizing the granting and validation of online order forms.

5. Establishment of an online platform for the filing of turnover in VAT suspension with an electronic receipt bearing an electronic signature of the Ministry of Finance (with a QR Code), allowing the import of the file currently manually filed at the tax office. This procedure can be replaced in the long term by computerizing the granting and validation of online order forms.

6. Establishment of a platform for depositing and granting purchase certificates suspended from VAT online, with monitoring the validation workflow, the supporting documents for the request will be available for downloading online on the platform, this platform should make it possible, using the taxpayer's unique identifier to verify the validity date and to download a copy by means of identification by an electronic certificate.

7. Set up an online platform for generating the tax purchase orders (with a QR Code) and a unique number to confirm its validity for any company holding a VAT exemption purchase certificate. The purchase orders will be shared with suppliers on electronic format and used for purchases with a VAT exemption. No hard copies signed or stamped should be required. The procedures relating to the clearance of physical purchase orders as well as the filing of sales with suspension of VAT can thus be avoided. A scanned copy of the purchase invoice attached to each purchase order must be downloaded on the online platform, along with the purchase order for the tax administration control purposes.

8. Provide for the possibility of attaching attachments to the declarations submitted online, specially the financial statements in PDF format, the legal auditor report with the final CIT declaration for companies legally subject to the obligation to designate a legal auditor.

9. Simplify the procedure relating to the filing of the tax package online and require it for all taxpayers in a progressive manner by including it online in companies’ tax return. Limit to importing an online balance with an allocation of accounts on the headings of financial statements and a simplified tax statement.

10. Provide for the possibility of submitting nil declarations via the remote settlement system and of retrieving the online submission receipt (QR Code).

11. Provide for all tax declarations submitted online electrical receipts with QR Code which validly replace physical receipts for the various administrations (banks, ATTT, etc.).

12. Set up, like the CNSS, a web page with the contact details of the tax and tax control offices, with the bank, telephone, fax and E-mail contact details. E-mails sent by taxpayers must be subject to an automatic acknowledgment of receipt with a Ticket number for tracking the subject of the e-mail until the Ticket is closed. An online platform should allow the taxpayer to follow the progress of the ticket.

13. An online granting of the certificates required for participating in calls for tenders in three languages. (Arabic, French and English)

14. An online granting of the certificates required for initiating transfers abroad. (Certificate of regularization of tax situation, Certificate of exemption from income, etc ...)

15. Provide for the possibility of submitting the employer's declaration online.

III. Social Security Authority

16. Setting-up of an online affiliation (normal and / or complementary) for companies and individual entrepreneurs through the unique identifier obtained from the RNE, following the online submission of the affiliation file, a follow-up workflow is to be expected. Does not require a work schedule covered by the inspection or manage this aspect as part of the affiliation procedure between the CNSS and the labor inspection.

17. Setting-up of a self-affiliation employer’s registration, following the online submission of the affiliation file, a follow-up workflow is to be expected,

18. Setting-up of online of social security contributions for self-employed employers, provide for the possibility of paying by bank transfer to be attached to the private space for payment of contributions, and to operate on the bank account indicated at this level space. A telephone number and an email from the employer are required for the communication of access codes. Bearing in mind that some self-employed employers do not have an identity card, but rather a residence card and passport. The current system only supports employers with CINs for access.

19. Setting-up of registering employees online, using an electronic form or importing an Excel file in the event of submitting several files online, is enough for information relating to the CIN and hiring dates confirmed by the employer. The current procedure requires an original birth certificate not exceeding 3 months.

20. Online Payment of costs relating to the various formalities by means of receipts sent to the employer by e-mail.

21. Implementing the possibility of informing and submitting on-line certificates of declared wages, etc.

22. The online granting of the certificates required for participation in calls for tenders in three languages (Arabic, French and English) in this case the certificate of balance, ...

IV. Labor work inspectorate

23. The establishment of an online visa procedure for the work timetable.

24. The implementation of an online visa procedure for part-time employment contracts.

V. National register of companies

25. Online granting of the certificates required for participation in calls for tenders in three languages. (Arabic, French and English) like the certificates of non-bankruptcy.

26. Establishment of a remote filing platform.

VI. Employment office

27. Online submission of benefit requests in accordance with current legislation with online file tracking. Finally, the issuance of a decision granting an advantage in electronic format which can be validly presented in the event of an audit to the various administrations.

28. Online management of the reimbursement procedure for grants relating to Karama contracts.

VII. Common recommendations

29. Establishment of a specialized call center (hotline) and by e-mail highly available to assist users of different platforms with a ticket creation system to identify recurring problems encountered by users in order to make improvements over time to online services.

30. Privilege, at the bank level, for online services, by simplifying the procedures for setting up (signing a document, etc.), being sufficient for requests leaving a written record, reducing membership fees, thus allowing the automation of self-service operations, as well as the optimization of banking resources, to direct them towards activities offering higher added value.

31. Using at the level of the various administrations the electronic receipts for declarations submitted via online platform. (Banks, Technical agency of land transport, etc.)

Today, the digitization of these formalities, although, it is the responsibility of different ministries, is a first step to bring to fruition an integrated platform, allowing companies to remotely manage their different administrative obligations. The objective is to modernize, simplify our processes and have a Business Continuity Plan in times of crisis.

Oussama Dahmen

Chartered Accountant Member of OECT

Vice president of young Chartered Accountants Association