EU to create a tax avoidance platform

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The European Commission is to set up a new ‘platform for tax good governance’, which will monitor progress in tackling aggressive tax planning and clamping down on tax havens across member states in Europe, reports accountancy services Harris & Co.

The platform will be made up of around 45 members, including a high-level delegate from each member state’s national tax authority and up to 15 non-governmental representatives who will come from business, academia and specialist groups. They will exchange ideas and expertise in order to develop a more effective EU approach against tax evasion and avoidance.

Announcing the move Algirdas Semeta, commissioner for taxation, customs, statistics, audit and anti-fraud, said the aim was to ‘keep member states on their toes. It will ensure results mirror expectations when it comes to fighting tax evasion.’

The Commission says it wants to see ‘real and effective action’ from member states, within a co-ordinated EU framework.

Semeta said:

‘In battling tax evasion, we are battling to protect the fairness of our tax systems, the competitiveness of our economies and the solidarity of our member states. There is too much at stake for this battle to be lost. The renewed vigour amongst member states to take up this fight is more than welcome. It must now be channelled into action.’

The call for applications to select organisations to participate in the new platform is now open and the deadline is 8 May 2013. Organisations will be selected for an initial three year mandate, which can be renewed. The first meeting of the platform is provisionally planned for 10 June 2013.

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