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Taxation and Customs Union

Commissioner Šemeta welcomes EU-US mutual recognition of safe traders

30/11/2011

The EU and the US agreed to mutually recognise each others' "secure traders" programmes. The EU's authorised economic operators' programme, and its US equivalent, allow security certified operators to benefit from quicker and simpler customs procedures.

Following this agreement Commissioner Šemeta said: "This means that smooth trade and secure trade will now go hand-in-hand. In recognising each other's safe traders, we are enabling them to enjoy lower costs and simpler procedures at customs, as well as greater predictability and fewer delays in moving goods."

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Tax reforms needed for consolidation and growth

23/11/2011

Brussels, 23 November 2011 – The European Commission is accelerating its efforts for economic renewal, with moves to address three interwoven challenges facing the EU and the euro area in particular: a divergent but generally lacklustre growth and employment performance; insufficiently coordinated and disciplined budgetary policies; and unstable sovereign debt markets suffering from a lack of liquidity. The package contains four elements: the 2012 Annual Growth Survey (AGS)setting out the economic priorities for the coming year; two Regulations to tighten economic and budgetary surveillance in the euro area; and a Green Paper on Stability Bonds.

Commissioner Šemeta, responsible for Taxation in the press conference today said that in the coordination of fiscal policies, a new element is recognised this year in the AGS: "Tax policy is fundamental for economic recovery. Moreover, the quality of taxation will determine whether we sink or swim.  Tax reform must go hand in hand with structural reform if we are to see sustainable public finances and financial stability."

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More efficient cooperation in collecting excise duties

14/11/2011

Brussels, 14 November 2011 – New rules on administrative cooperation in the field of excise duties, which would speed up the collection of the duties and improve Member States' controls on the revenue, have been proposed by the Commission today. The new Regulation would replace the existing rules, to better reflect the introduction of the computerised Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) in April 2010 (see IP/10/401 ). Currently, part of the information exchange between Member States on the movement of excise products (alcohol, tobacco and energy products) is still done manually. Computerising this exchange will make it easier and faster to collect the excise duties that are due.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "In these times of budgetary consolidation, effective tax collection is crucial for Member States. In the Single Market, tax administrations must be able to exchange data with other Member States quickly and efficiently, in order to collect their revenues properly. This Regulation is another step towards a more integrated Single Market from the tax perspective."

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Tackling double taxation for a stronger Single Market

11/11/2011

Brussels , 11 November 2011 –  Double taxation, and double non-taxation, contradict the very spirit of the Single Market. Yet many citizens and businesses are still suffering heavier tax burdens just because they operate in more than one Member State. Meanwhile, others are using loopholes between national systems to escape paying taxes that they owe. Determined to tackle this problem, the Commission today adopted a Communication on Double Taxation. This Communication highlights where the main double taxation problems lie within the EU, and outlines concrete measures that the Commission will take to address them. In doing so, the Commission seeks to remove real obstacles to a more competitive economy and make the EU easier to invest and do business in.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, said: "We must be able to send the message to all citizens, businesses and trading partners: the EU does not tax twice! Double taxation is one of the biggest tax obstacles to the Internal Market, and can no longer be overlooked. Today I have presented clear and feasible ways to tackle double taxation, which will make the EU a more attractive place to live and work in."

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Taxation and Customs: Delivering to Member States, citizens and businesses post-2014

09/11/2011

Brussels, 09 November 2011 – EU Customs and Taxation policy make a substantial contribution in helping to raise revenues for the EU and Member States' budgets every year. In addition, these policies deliver considerable benefits to EU citizens and business, whether it is through blocking unsafe or illegal imports, facilitating smooth trade and a strong Internal Market, or cutting compliance costs and red tape for cross-border companies.

In order to build on this work and be fully equipped to meet future challenges in these fields, the European Commission today adopted a proposal for the FISCUS programme. With a budget of 777.6 million euro, the programme will run for 7 years from January 1 2014.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit, said: "This new programme reflects our ambitions for taxation and customs in the years ahead. Through FISCUS, the EU will continue to protect our citizens, businesses and budgets, while improving our capacity to meet new challenges that may lie ahead."

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Statement following the dicussion in ECOFIN Council

08/11/2011

"We just need to look at the demonstrations – across the EU and across the world – to see how greatly citizens want the financial sector to make a proper contribution to the economy and to society as a whole", Commissioner Semeta said at ECOFIN today.

Presenting his proposal for an EU financial transactions tax, the Commissioner spoke of the fundamental "fairness" of the proposal, as well as highlighting the many benefits that it offers to Member States and citizens.  

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Audit

Another clean bill of health for EU accounts; auditors find improvements in many payment areas

10/11/2011

Brussels, 10 November 2011 - For the fourth year in a row, the EU's annual accounts have received a clean bill of health from its external auditors. As for EU spending, the overall error rate is once again below 4%. This means that the vast majority (at least 96%) of total payments made in 2010 were free from quantifiable error.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Audit and Anti-fraud said: "The Court of Auditors report confirms that we are on the right track, although that doesn't mean that we will relax our efforts to safeguard the EU budget. We are currently preparing the next generation of EU funds. This is a chance to further improve the quality of EU spending and to get more value for money from the EU budget, especially in policies managed together with Member States.  It is also a chance to show to all tax-payers that the Commission is doing everything it can to ensure that their money is properly controlled and spent."

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