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Commissioner welcomes Council agreement on better cooperation between tax authorities

“In the current economic climate, when public budgets are under such pressure, we need to work together as a Union and ensure that each Member State can collect the revenue that it is due. That is what today’s agreement is about. It sends a strong signal to the world that the EU is serious about the fight against tax fraud and evasion, and that we will continue to insist on good governance, both at home and internationally,” says Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta. 

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, has welcomed the political agreement at ECOFIN today which will significantly improve Member States’ ability to assess and collect the taxes that they are due. The Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation sets the basis for stronger cooperation and greater information exchange between tax authorities in the EU. One of the key aspects of the Directive is that bank secrecy will no longer be allowed to be used as a reason for one Member State refusing cross-border cooperation with another Member State in the assessment of taxes.

The Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation provides clearer and more precise rules for cooperation between Member States when it comes to assessing taxes. In particular, it sets up common mechanisms and rules of procedure for the exchange of information, which will improve transparency. The Directive abolishes bank secrecy in the relations between tax authorities, so that it cannot be used to refuse an information request from a Member State trying to assess the tax situation of one of its residents. The Directive has a wide scope, covering all indirect taxes except those already covered under specific EU legislation (i.e. VAT and excise duties). Today’s agreement will ensure that the EU is fully in line with the OECD’s Model Convention when it comes to transparency and information exchange in tax matters.
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