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Kovacs Welcomes New Measures To Fight EU VAT, Excise Tax Fraud

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

17 December 2008


European Commissioner for Taxation, Laszlo Kovacs, has welcomed the adoption by the Council of Finance Ministers of two measures aimed at improving the detection rate of fraud in the area of value-added tax and excise duties.

On Tuesday, the Council adopted a modification of the VAT directive which enables member states to detect VAT carousel fraud quickly, by speeding up the exchange of information between tax administrations on cross-border transactions. The Council also adopted a directive on excise duties, which will strengthen the fight against fraud by providing a legal framework for the use of a computerised system to monitor the movement of excise goods within the European Union.

Commenting on the development, Kovacs said: "A coordinated EU fight against tax fraud has been very high on my political agenda, as I am convinced that member states cannot be effective if they act alone in this area. I therefore welcome today's progress in the field of VAT and excise duties.

He added: "The measures adopted today are part of a whole package designed to improve cooperation and the effective exchange of information between national administrations in the fight against tax fraud. Tax fraud deprives necessary resources from member states, which are needed to implement their national social, environmental or economic policies. Today this problem is more acute than ever, as governments face the effects of the global financial crisis."


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