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EC consults on a European taxpayer’s code and a tax ID to tackle evasion

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The European Commission is consulting on the development of a European Taxpayer's Code and a European Tax Identification Number to ‘improve tax collection and ensure better tax compliance across the EU’. Comments are invited by 17 May 2013.

Tax commissioner Algirdas Šemeta said: ‘As we intensify our battle against tax evaders, we must also make it easier for the willing to comply. This would be the point of an EU Taxpayers' Code, and today we are asking taxpayers themselves to help shape it. We must also help authorities to identify those that owe taxes, so that they can collect the revenues they are due. This would be the purpose of an EU Tax Identification Number, and we want the public's view on how it can best be developed.’

Codes setting out the rights and obligations of taxpayers and tax authorities vary considerably from one member state to another, the EC said. ‘This can make it extremely difficult for citizens and companies to understand their rights in different member states and comply with their tax obligations in cross-border situations.’

Difficulty in identifying taxpayers can ‘undermine national efforts to properly collect taxes, lead to situations of double non-taxation, and even facilitate tax fraud and evasion’, it added.