Extracts from the press statement by László Kovács on fight against tax fraud
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 02/02/2009 First transmission: 02/02/2009
To fight against tax evasion and fraud, the European Commission adopted two proposals for new Directives, aimed at improving mutual assistance between Member States' tax authorities in the assessment, and the recovery of taxes.
László Kovács, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, gave a press conference following the meeting. He said that efficient cooperation and mutual assistance between tax administrations is essential in better combating tax fraud. Improved transparency, based on quick and simple information exchange mechanisms, is therefore crucial. And one of the key elements of the proposals, is that Member States would no longer be able to invoke bank secrecy in order to refuse cross border co-operation.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press room
||László Kovács, Member of the EC in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, saying (in ENGLISH) that the European Commission adopted two proposals to review current arrangements for mutual assistance between national tax authorities of the Member States: one for the assessment, another one for the recovery of taxes.
Recent tax evasion cases widely covered by the media have clearly demonstrated that Member States need efficient international cooperation to protect their financial resources including their tax revenues.
||László Kovács saying (in ENGLISH) that one crucial element of the proposal is that it tackles the question of bank secrecy being involved to refuse cross-border cooperation. It contains a provision according to which a Member State cannot decline the request to supply information on taxpayer of the requesting Member State, merely because this information is held by a bank or other financial institutions. In this way the proposal aims at abolishing the current barrier on bank secrecy in the relations between tax authorities when a requesting Member State wants to assess a tax situation of one of its resident tax payers. They are not asking member states to abolish bank secrecy as such, but they want to eliminate its potential abuse.
||László Kovács saying (in ENGLISH) that an efficient fight against tax invasion and tax fraud can only be achieved with the increase of transparency and the rapid exchange of information. The Czech presidency intends to have discussions on these proposals immediately in order to approve the Directives before the end of this year. Progress for the improve exchange of information within the European Union will open new possibilities for negotiations with third countries.
||Cutaway (2 shots)