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Brussels, 8 April 2013
Statement by Commissioner Šemeta on fighting tax evasion
"Recent developments, fuelled by the outcome of the Offshore Leaks, confirms the urgency for more and better action against tax evasion.
The Commission has long advocated more transparency and stronger common tools to fight fraudsters, discourage evaders and ensure fair burden-sharing in taxes.
Indeed we put a comprehensive package of measures on the table last December to achieve this, and have been working closely with international partners for stricter and more effective international standards.
We know what is needed to better fight against fraud and evasion.
We need automatic exchange of information to be widely applied, as this is the most effective way of allowing countries to collect the taxes they are due.
We need a tough common stance against tax havens, including sanctions against those who facilitate evaders.
And we need to block off the pathways to aggressive tax planning and close opportunities for abusive tax practices.
All the tools to achieve these goals are on the table, ready to be seized.
I am very pleased to see that, over the past few days, many of the Member States have reviewed where they stand on these issues and intensified their political will to act.
Now it is time to put words into action. I hope to see rapid adoption of our proposals for a stronger EU stance against tax fraud and evasion."