Minimum sanctions for tax crimes, a cross-border tax identification number, an EU tax-payer’s charter and stronger common measures against tax havens are some of the measures proposed by the Commission in a recently edited press release.
It is not the first time that the Commission acts to facilitate the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion in the EU: the EU Savings Directive, by allowing Member States to exchange information on non-resident tax-payers, has already brought to the States’ pockets some €20 billion. The aim is now to update the Savings Directive and to present by the end of the year an Action Plan with specific measures that could be rapidly implemented to better fight fraud and evasion. In tandem, the Commission will also come forward with its initiative against tax havens and aggressive tax planning. According to EU officials, the size of the shadow economy and therefore of tax fraud is estimated to be nearly one fifth of GDP on average across Member States, representing nearly €2 trillion in total.