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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 17 December 2012

Fighting tax evasion: stronger EU rules enter into force on 1st January

New EU rules which will improve Member States’ ability to assess and collect the taxes that they are due will enter into force on 1 January 2013. The Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation lays the basis for stronger cooperation and greater information exchange between tax authorities in the EU. One of the key aspects of the Directive is that it brings an end to bank secrecy: one Member State cannot refuse to give information to another just because it is held by a financial institution.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, said: "These new rules will bring greater transparency, better information exchange and closer cooperation: fundamental tools for fighting tax evasion."

The Directive sets down practical and effective measures to improve administrative cooperation on tax matters. Common forms and procedures for exchanging information are provided, which will make the transmission of data between national authorities quicker and more efficient. Tax officials may be authorised to participate in administrative enquiries in another Member State. They will also be able to request that their tax documents and decisions are notified elsewhere in the EU. The Directive has a wide scope, covering all taxes except those already covered under specific EU legislation (i.e. VAT and excise duties).

Background

More information on the Directive is available on:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_cooperation/mutual_assistance/direct_tax_directive/index_en.htm

For more information on the fight against tax fraud see:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/index_en.htm

For Commissioner Šemeta's website, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/semeta/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)


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