Combatting tax fraud and tax evasion: Commissioner Šemeta addresses EP

Strasbourg, 18 April 2012. Speaking at the European Parliament Plenary debate on the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion today, Commissioner for Taxation, Algirdas Šemeta said:

In these difficult times we must ensure that taxes are efficiently and fairly collected. We cannot ask citizens to accept the burden of increased taxes and cuts in public services if we do not do our utmost to clamp down on activities and practices that robs Member States of legitimate income.

In order to better frame a European-wide strategy against tax evasion, I believe, that we need a three pronged approach.

Firstly, Member States need to make the best use of the tools available at EU level.

Secondly, Finance Ministers have to find a way out of the 'impasse' that on the revision of the Savings Directive. Exchange of information has become a global standard for undermining bank secrecy. It is now time for the European Union to take a step forward with its own mechanisms.

Finally, we need to develop new ideas for the way ahead in tackling tax evasion. The Commission's report to the European Council in June on should provide a sound and realistic basis for further work.

I also intend to go further in fighting against tax havens and aggressive tax planning. We need to leverage the economic and political muscle of the Union to ensure that we defend ourselves against non-cooperative jurisdictions and others that do not play fair.

To read his full speech click here.

Last update: 24/04/2013 |  Top