Varga calls for joint EU crackdown on tax evasion

Interview

Hungary’s National Economy Minister Mihály Varga called on European Union members to assist in a joint crackdown on value added tax evasion, the minister said today at a conference in Prague, according to a report from the National Economy Ministry.

Varga and Czech finance minister Andrej Babis, whose ministry organized the conference, urged the leaders of the European Union to draft a joint strategy for addressing the issue as soon as possible, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Varga said, citing a study by the European Commission, that approximately €170 billion was cheated out of EU members in VAT revenue in 2013. In Hungary, the amount is estimated at an annual HUF 500-750 bln (€1.7-2.5 bln) he added, according to MTI.

According to the Hungarian economy minister, one of the most effective tools against VAT evasion is the introduction of reverse VAT, the practice of obliging the buyer, not the seller, of goods to pay VAT, MTI reported. He added that there was no explanation for EU objections to such measures, MTI said.

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