Today, the Commission welcomes the launch of the latest EU weapon to help cut down on criminal Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud, which leads to a gap in public finances to the tune of €50 billion a year. The new system will allow Member States to rapidly exchange and jointly process VAT data, leading to earlier detection of suspicious networks.The launch of 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. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “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.” VAT fraud can take place in the blink of an eye, making it even more important that Member States have tools to allow them to act as quickly and efficiently as possible. The TNA, which Member States start using today, will allow tax authorities fast and easy access to cross-border transaction information, leading to quick action when potential VAT fraud is flagged.