EU must take action over billions lost in VAT fraud

14 July 2011

EU must take action over billions lost in VAT fraud

Every year the European Union is defrauded of some €100bn in VAT. The fraud is effected via complicated constructs often involving different EU countries. During a parliamentary debate on the issue in May, SP Member of Parliament Farshad Bashir asked the government to take measures to prevent this, while MEP Dennis de Jong has urged the European Commission on a number of occasions to take more effective steps to tackle fraud. Nest week, De Jong will, he says, ‘put pressure on the Commission by proposing amendments to a report on the issue from the Internal Market Committee.´

Dennis de JongWhatever else may be done, national tax services must improve the way they work together, as De Jong explains: “Criminals work across national borders. Information regarding the sectors in which they are particularly active, for example in electronic products, and on the tricks they pull, must be exchanged between the member states more rapidly and more efficiently.” In addition, he says, deeper consideration must be given to the ways in which VAT is collected. The present system appears to be extremely vulnerable to fraud. De Jong’s proposals will be dealt with in the European Parliament after the summer recess.

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