New tool to help Member States crack down on VAT fraud

A new system, launched on Wednesday, will allow Member States to rapidly exchange and jointly process VAT data, leading to earlier detection of suspicious networks, the EU press service reported. The Transaction Network Analysis (TNA) tool comes as recent media investigations once again laid bare the huge costs of VAT fraud for public finances, with criminal gangs profiting at the expense of honest taxpayers. It is part of the Commission's sustained effort to put in place a modern and fraud-proof VAT system.

“Criminal VAT fraud is one of the major issues facing our public finances today and its eradication should be a top priority for EU governments. This new tool will increase the speed at which authorities can uncover and act on suspicious activity. But this progress does not lessen the need for deeper and more fundamental reform of the EU's VAT system, to ensure it can cope with the vast amounts of trade taking place across borders in the EU,” Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

The TNA, developed through close collaboration between Member States and the Commission, will allow much closer cooperation between the EU's network of anti-fraud experts (Eurofisc) when it comes to jointly analysing information so that VAT carousel fraud can be detected and intercepted as fast and effectively as possible. It will boost cooperation and information exchange between national tax officials, allowing Eurofisc officials to cross-check information with criminal records, databases and information held by Europol and OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud agency, and to coordinate cross-border investigations.

At a meeting onTuesday and Wednesday, anti-fraud officials from Member States participating in the TNA agreed on how the tool will function and how the information collected will be used.

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