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Taxation and Customs Union

An efficient tax recovery ensures that all taxpayers are paying their fair share of taxes.

The EU has developed the world's strongest framework for international tax recovery assistance.

Organising tax recovery assistance within the EU

Most tax debts are collected timely through spontaneous payment by the debtor. If taxes are not paid in due time, national tax administrations can resort to a range of powers to recover them.

However, tax debtors or recoverable assets belonging to debtors may be within the jurisdiction of another Member State.

Therefore, the EU framework for recovery assistance between tax authorities of different States is an essential tool to recover tax claims in cross border situations. It helps ensure that tax debtors do not successfully evade their tax payment obligations.

Supporting the efficiency of tax recovery in EU Member States

The success of international recovery assistance depends on the efficiency of national tax enforcement measures. Thus the European Commission supports the Member States' actions to organise an efficient and effective collection and recovery of taxes.

Several projects are managed by the EU Tax Collection Platform.

EU Tax collection platform

The recovery of taxes which remain unpaid is an important element of a fair taxation system and it contributes to the fight against tax fraud in the EU internal market.

Therefore, the EU and its Member States cooperate to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the national tax collection systems within each Member State.

The research projects of the EU Tax Collection Platform allow to exchange views on tax collection problems and needs and to provide best practice recommendations to the Member States.

Presentations of its activities can be found in the Newsletter "EU & International Tax Collection News", which also provides Information on EU and international developments in the field of tax collection and enforcement.

Supporting tax recovery assistance beyond the EU borders

Moreover, tax fraud does not stop at the borders of the EU. The European Commission contributes to organising international recovery assistance with non-EU countries.

For more information:

EU legislation on international tax recovery assistance

  • Since 1 January 2012, mutual recovery assistance between EU Member States has been governed by Council Directive 2010/24/EU.
  • This directive allows recovery assistance for all taxes and duties levied by Member States and by their territorial or administrative subdivisions. It also introduces the "European instrument permitting enforcement in another Member State" as the sole basis for recovery measures taken in the requested Member State.
  • Implementing EU provisions, dealing with the communication of requests and replies between the competent tax offices, are laid down in Commission implementing Regulation (EU) 1189/2011.

Management of the EU legislation

  • The implementation of this legislation in the EU Member States is monitored by the EU Recovery Expert Group.
  • Amendments to the implementing provisions are discussed within the EU Recovery Committee.

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