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EU: New measures to address VAT fraud

EU: New measures to address VAT fraud

The European Commission today issued a release concerning an approach reached by EU Member States on new tools to close loopholes in the EU's value added tax (VAT) system.

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The VAT measures were proposed by the EC in November 2017, and generally provide for a greater exchange of information and cooperation among national tax authorities and law enforcement authorities. Once in force, EU Member States will be able to exchange more relevant information and to cooperate more closely in the fight against criminal organisations, including terrorists.

As noted in an EC release, the new rules will:

  • Strengthen cooperation between EU Member States, enabling them to address VAT fraud more quickly and more efficiently, including on fraud that takes place online
  • Allow greater use of IT systems to replace the manual processing of data
  • Allow for systematic sharing of VAT information and intelligence in the most serious cases of VAT fraud 
  • Improve investigative coordination between tax administrations and law enforcement authorities at national and EU levels

The new cooperation rules will be published in the EU's Official Journal. Their application may be deferred until 1 January 2020.

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