Call for a measurable and binding commitment against tax evasion and tax avoidance in the EU:
- extracts from the Commission statement and MEPs debate
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 12/12/2013 First transmission: 12/12/2013
On Thursday, MEPs have debated with the Commission on the latest and future steps to combat tax evasion.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Strasbourg.
||SOUNDBITE (French) Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner: "Today you are calling upon the Commission to launch a study on the possible introduction of indicators which would provide the basis to measure the reduction of tax fraud, of tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. The Commission supports the introduction of standard indicators which would allow us to better measure these practices. But to develop such indicators we need the support of member states. They are the ones who need to develop the indicators; then harmonisation could be carried out at EU level, once the member states have developed their own national indicators".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner: "Given the differences between member states as to the availability of fiscal data, it's up to the member states and their tax administrations which need to draw national estimates of their tax shortfall before we can carry out such estimates at European level".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner: "We are talking about 193 million euros of VAT shortfall for the period 2006-2011. We cannot say though that the VAT fraud is actually at that same level, as there are other reasons that can explain that loss of tax revenue, such as involuntary errors or bankrupts."
||SOUNDBITE (Romanian) Theodor Dumitru STOLOJAN (EPP, RO): "How is it possible that when we discuss about automated information exchange on income matters we keep hearing such excuses that this automated information exchange should be done only when information is available? How can information not be available?? Because banks always have this information, all they have to do is to put this information into the information exchange system!".
||SOUNDBITE (Greek) Anni PODIMATA (S&D, GR): "A trillion euro have been lost, that's the kind of sum we are talking about. I recognise the efforts being made by Commissioner Semeta, but I have to say that the Commission and the Council are in a kind of ping pong game giving each other responsibility and Europeans are paying the consequences of it. The situation needs to be dealt as a matter of urgency".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Sylvie GOULARD (ALDE, FR): "In the tax sphere in Europe we've got a wolf in the sheepfold, the OCDE has said in a recent report that some important EU members, belonging to the euro area, still believe that they can continue to incite tax avoidance and avoid their obligations when it comes to the exchanges of tax information. It's an absolute scandal; we have to call a spade a spade, we have to denounce this kind of practices and it's really time stop listening to those 'triple A' countries giving us lessons".
||SOUNDBITE (French) Eva JOLY (Greens-EFA, FR): "Automatic information exchange extended to all categories as proposed by the Commission is vital. Council must adopt the reform without delay. Luxembourg and Austria, who are dragging their feet, must not be allowed to stop this legislation which is so necessary if we are to come out of this crisis".