Brussels, 25 February 2013
Fighting evasion: Commission launches consultations on EU Taxpayer's Code and EU Tax Identification Number
Today the European Commission launched two public consultations on specific measures which could improve tax collection and ensure better tax compliance across the EU.
The first consultation is on the development of a European Taxpayer's Code, which would clarify the rights and obligations of both taxpayers and tax authorities. The second consultation is on a European Tax Identification Number (EU TIN), which would facilitate the proper identification of taxpayers in the EU. Both the Taxpayer's Code and the EU TIN were among the measures proposed by the Commission last December in its Action Plan to tackle tax fraud and evasion (see IP/12/1325). The consultations will run until 17 May 2013.
Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Anti-Fraud and Audit, said: "As we intensify our battle against tax evaders, we must also make it easier for the willing to comply. This would be the point of an EU Taxpayers' Code, and today we are asking taxpayers themselves to help shape it. We must also help authorities to identify those that owe taxes, so that they can collect the revenues they are due. This would be the purpose of an EU Tax Identification Number, and we want the public's view on how it can best be developed."
Most Member States have established taxpayer's codes to define the rights and obligations of taxpayers and tax authorities. However, these codes vary considerably from one Member State to another. This can make it extremely difficult for citizens and companies to understand their rights in different Member States and comply with their tax obligations in cross-border situations.
Member States also find it increasingly difficult to properly identify taxpayers, given the increased mobility of people and more cross-border nature of economic activity. This can undermine national efforts to properly collect taxes, lead to situations of double non-taxation, and even facilitate tax fraud and evasion.
The aim of the public consultations is to gather examples of best practices in the Member States on collecting data on taxpayers' identities as well as taxpayer compliance and transparency. The results of both consultations will be used to identify and develop the appropriate policy responses by the end of 2013.
The consultation papers are available in English, French and German. All contributions will be taken into account.
In December 2012, the Commission presented an Action Plan for a more effective EU response to tax evasion and avoidance (see IP/12/1325). It sets out a comprehensive set of measures to help Member States protect their tax bases and recapture billions of euros legitimately due. This includes developing a Taxpayers' Code and an EU TIN.
Contributions must be submitted online no later than 17 May 2013 using the available electronic questionnaires:
For the consultation paper see:
Homepage of Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta, EU Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-fraud Commissioner:
The Commission's Action Plan and Recommendations can be found on: