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The Threat from Technology Insurgents

Two recent articles in this publication specifically caught my eye and set in progress the compilation of this article. The first, ITSA Hits Back Over Tax Stamp Criticism, appeared in the June 2020 edition followed by Blockchain and Excise Supply Chains: Hype, Conjecture and Reality, in July.

Technology - October 14, 2020 8 a.m.

Cloud-Based Solutions Offer Greater Efficiency and Performance for Tax Administration

When it comes to the effective storage and management of data, it should be recognised that security, flexibility, and efficiency are key. Increasingly, governments, businesses, and organisations around the world are exploring cloud-based computing options as a complement – or alternative – to more traditional, on-premises hardware and software solutions. For tax administrators, the ongoing shift presents both opportunities and unique challenges.

Technology - September 30, 2020 8 a.m.

Recent Developments in Document Biometrics for Tax Stamps

The term ‘biometrics’ is commonly used to describe technologies that employ human features that are unique to individuals – such as fingerprints or retinal eye patterns – as a way to identify those individuals. But the term is also employed, within the authentication industry, to describe technologies which use the intrinsic microscopic or molecular properties unique to items such as tax stamps to identify and thereby authenticate those items. Hence the term ‘document biometrics’, or ‘fingerprinting’.

Technology - July 30, 2020 8 a.m.

OpSec’s Equinox: Technology Review

In the year following the US state of Michigan’s introduction of a new tobacco excise tax stamp in 2014, tax revenues increased by $15.7 million – when they had in fact been predicted to decline – and exceeded the forecast for the year by nearly $30 million. Furthermore, it took only one year to recoup the costs of introducing this new stamp. Similarly, in Mozambique, alcohol and tobacco excise tax revenues increased by 85% in the first year after the introduction of a new stamp in 2017.

Technology - June 29, 2020 8 a.m.

SICPA Launches its ‘Brightest Star’

If you ask an astronomer what a ‘quasar’ is, they’ll tell you it’s an extremely bright celestial object emitting an immense amount of energy in the form of, say, light or infrared radiation, from a compact source. Recently, SICPA launched its own ‘brightest star’ – QUAZAR® – which it describes as an optical security technology offering vibrant colours and engaging visible effects that are quick and easy for end users to authenticate, without the need for prior training.

Technology - December 9, 2019 7 a.m.

Human and/or Digital Interrogation of Tax Stamps

An intriguing and important discussion regarding the relative role of human senses and digital methods in authentication has been sparked by two contrasting presentations at the recent Tax Stamp Forum™. Ian Lancaster, who presented one of those papers, here describes the contrasting presentations and the follow-up discussion.

Technology - November 30, 2019 7 a.m.

INCM - Art to Machine Readable Coding

The Portuguese Mint and Official Printing Office, INCM SA, in a presentation by Nuno Gonçalves at the recent Tax Stamp Forum™ in Budapest, described its new coding system, but unlike other such systems, this one, UNIQODE®, is artistically as well as technically innovative. (Patents are pending.)

Technology - November 7, 2019 7 a.m.