EU Consults on Tax

6th March 2020 • News

The European Commission issued an inception impact assessment on its action plan to fight tax evasion and simplify taxation. The information is also available on a PDF document. This is the first step in a roadmap which will lead to an upcoming strategy planned for mid-2020 that will possibly look at addressing the following areas:


  1. Tax evasion

Concrete steps against tax evasion could include: extending and strengthening existing cooperation tools amongst tax and customs administrations at Union level such as Eurofisc; introducing new digital tools and solutions to, in particular, improve analysis capacities of tax authorities and switch from the exchange of information to a model where tax data can be shared in real time; the provision of tax data from digital platforms to tax authorities, improving cross-border tax recovery and new cooperation agreements with third countries in particular to fight tax fraud in e-commerce.


  1. Tax barriers

When it comes to tackling tax barriers that cross-border businesses and taxpayers face, concrete steps could include: mechanisms to prevent and solve cross-border tax disputes to enhance tax certainty in both direct and indirect taxation; simplification and modernisation of tax rules in the Single Market, in particular VAT rules, but also procedures for withholding taxes on investment across borders; enhancing dialogue with taxpayers in the preparation of future legislation and providing more assistance on understanding EU tax rules and taxpayers rights; encouraging cooperative compliance; exploring digital solutions to levy taxes at source in real time; reinforcing the EU positioning with third countries in the interest of EU citizens, business and Member States by speaking with one voice at international level.


  1. Tax Good Governance

The Action Plan package will include a distinct element on the External Strategy on tax good governance 2020 as well. The External Strategy 2020 will take stock of the progress made since the original Strategy was published in 2016 and highlight the achievements of each initiative that was proposed. It should outline new and foreseen developments in EU and international taxation, which could impact our external agenda, and consider the appropriate next steps in this light. The External Strategy 2020 should act as a curtain-raiser for certain new initiatives over the coming years (for example, defensive measures, technical assistance to developing countries or agreements with third countries).


In addition, as the Commission launches its new political agenda within the EU, it is important to send a signal to third countries that the EU’s external tax agenda remains a priority too. In addition to communicating about future plans, there is a urgency to step up the fight against tax evasion in particular to keep pace with international developments in this field. This is why the Communication will be accompanied by:


(a) a proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards measures to strengthen the exchange of information framework in the field of taxation. It will in particular enable a flow of data from digital platforms to tax authorities.

(b) a Recommendation for a Council Decision to authorize the Commission to open negotiations for an agreement between the EU and a major economic player on administrative cooperation, combating fraud, in particular in ecommerce, and recovery of claims in the field of VAT.


Should you wish to put your views on these proposals to the Commission, you may do so by clicking on the button “Give Feedback” in yellow on the Action Plan web page.


Download (PDF, 226KB)