The Commission has made fighting tax fraud and evasion a priority. Every year, billions of euros of public money are lost in the EU due to tax evasion and tax avoidance. As a result, Member States suffer a serious loss of revenue, as well as a dent to the efficiency their tax systems. Businesses find themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared to their counterparts that engage in aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance schemes. And honest citizens carry a heavier burden, in terms of tax hikes and spending cuts, to compensate for the unpaid taxes of evaders. Fighting tax evasion is therefore essential for fairer and more efficient taxation.
Progress has been made in fighting tax evasion and avoidance at EU level over the past year. Among the actions taken in 2013 were:
- Expanding the automatic exchange of information widely within the EU
- Tightening EU corporate tax rules against aggressive tax planning
- Negotiating with neighbouring countries for greater transparency