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EU To Strengthen Defences Against Tax Fraud

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

23 November 2007

The European Commission welcomes the adoption by the European Council of the 'Fiscalis 2013' programme, which aims at providing member states with means to better combat tax fraud and to cut compliance costs for traders in the areas of VAT and excise duties.

The Fiscalis programme will commence in 2008 and run until 2013. According to the Commission, it will continue to stimulate cooperation between tax authorities and assist them in developing an appropriate balance between efficiency of controls and burdens on taxable persons. It will also contribute to the development and management of trans-European IT tax systems.

Laszlo Kovacs, Commissioner for Taxation and Customs stated that he was "very happy" with the adoption of the programme.

"National tax administrations need to be modernised and to strengthen cooperation in order to be efficient in the fight against fiscal fraud. The Fiscalis 2013 programme will actively contribute to enhance cooperation between tax administrations and to implement IT systems allowing quick exchange of information," he noted.

The Fiscalis 2013 programme will continue the works undertaken under the Fiscalis 2007 programme. Its main objectives are: enhancing the fight against tax fraud, in particular against "VAT carousel fraud"; reducing the administrative burden on administrations and taxable persons; and ensuring a performing exchange of information between national tax administrations as well, as with traders, through, for example, trans-European tax IT systems.

At an operational level, the new programme will: boost the effectiveness of the tax administrations via the automation of audit tools; enhance the existing trans-European tax IT systems; support the implementation of the Excise Movement Control System (for example by allowing reduced time for discharge of excise movements of goods to traders) as from mid 2009; and support the development of training tools available to all tax administrations.

The Commission believes that the programme's impact will extend beyond national tax administrations, because traders will benefit through reduced tax compliance and more efficient tax systems.

TAGS: Italy

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