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EU to clamp down on tax evasion: Commission

Published on Dec 6, 2012 8:21 PM
European Union (EU) commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, Algirdas Semeta talks during a press conference on the EU Commission Package to fight tax evasion and aggressive tax planning on Dec 6, 2012 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European Union (EU) governments lose a "scandalous" one trillion euros (S$1.6 trillion) a year to tax dodgers and that has to stop now to prevent further damage to state finances and the economy, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Unilateral action alone is not enough, however, and the EU must act in a coordinated way so as to tackle the root causes of the problem, EU Tax and Customs Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said.

"Around one trillion euros is lost to tax evasion and avoidance every year in the EU. Not only is this is a scandalous loss of much-needed revenue, it is also a threat to fair taxation," Mr Semeta said.

"While member states must toughen national measures against tax evasion, unilateral solutions alone won't work" because in globalised economy, "national mismatches and loopholes become the play-things of those that seek to escape taxation".

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