EU tax transparency tools prove effective in the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance

EU tax transparency rules on the automatic exchange of information between Member States are delivering added value when it comes to countries’ ability to crack down on tax avoidance, according to an evaluation published today by the Commission. The report provides a first snapshot of the commonly agreed legislation underpinning the obligatory automatic exchange of tax information on non-financial income and assets of some 16 million taxpayers within Europe, of information exchanges on financial accounts, as well as on the tax rulings that Member States provide multinational companies. For example, in 2017 Member States exchanged information on almost 18,000 tax rulings given to multinationals. The evaluation shows that Member States now receive considerably more information that can help fight tax fraud, evasion and avoidance and are still in the process of finding the most efficient ways to use the data, to evaluate the added value and deterrent effects. The Commission continues to encourage all EU countries to make full use oftheir access to the wealth of useful tax information being made available through these new channels. While too recent to examine in this study, even more tax data has now started to be exchanged between Member States, such as on the corporate tax revenues paid by big companies in each country, since new rules entered into application on 1 January 2013. From next year, Member States will also start sharing intelligence on the tax planning advice being provided by intermediaries in each country.  The report itself and more information on the currentrules (Council Directive on Administrative Cooperation, 2011/16/EU) are available here.