PwC: CEE countries must unite to combat VAT fraud

Interview

Officials from the finance and economy ministries of Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia addressed ways in which to combat VAT fraud and increase VAT collection during a conference hosted by PwC in Budapest today, according to an announcement issued by the company.

According to the European Comission, EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe have the highest VAT gap – the difference between the amount of VAT the state must collect and the amount it actually collects – ranging between 22.4% in Czech Republic, 41.1% in Romania, 24.4% in Hungary, 26.7% in Poland and 34.9% in Slovakia, according to PwC.

“This common problem througout the region is costing the state budgets of our five CEE countries around €27 billion annually. To put it into perspective, that’s substantially higher than Slovakia’s overall tax revenues per year... In today’s globalized economy, where tax evaders can easily switch countries of residence in order to take advantage of loopholes in the tax legislation, it is paramount for the CEE countries to tackle the issue of VAT fraud in a joint, coherent and coordinated manner,” Daniel Anghel, PwC CEE Indirect Tax Leader said.

Hungary’s Minister of the Economy Mihály Varga and Czech Republic’s Minister of Finance Andrej Babiš spoke at the conference as well as a number of other officials and ministers of finance and economy from the region.

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