Fighting cross-border tax frauds in the EU

Banking

The European Commission is going to present two studies and a bill to the national governments in order to decrease the number of cross-border tax frauds, EU tax commissioner László Kovács said at the conference of national tax offices in Budapest. Hungary: “I love APEH” – not quite there yet.

Tax frauds cause €200–250 billion ($280-350 million) losses to the member countries annually, without including the effects of simple tax evasion. The Commission is examining two possible solutions to reduce fraud. One is the possibility of reversed VAT payment; the other the VAT-free trading within the member states. Any of these options will need the approval of all national governments. In Hungary, the introduction of a green tax should be considered in the tax reforms in 2009; as these are generally more acceptable for the people, Kovács suggested.

“I love APEH” (Hungarian Tax Office) – not quite there yet
People should understand that by paying taxes they don’t lose anything but rather buy the opportunity to become the citizens of a better functioning country – stated PM Ferenc Gyurcsány at the conference for EU tax office leaders. While calling for harmonization of tax bases, tax regulations and encouraging cross border economic activity, the premier could not foresee a unified EU taxation system. To help the citizens understand that „freedom and responsibility go hand in hand” the tax authority should give advice, co-operate and follow norms in a predictable way – Gyurcsány emphasized.(Napi Gazdaság, Gazdasági Rádió)

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