EU countries lose 150-bln euro in Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenues

BRUSSELS, EU countries lost almost 150 billion euro (USD 175 billion) in Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenues in 2016, according to a new study published Friday by the European Commission.

The so-called ‘VAT Gap’ shows the difference between the expected VAT revenue and the amount actually collected.

Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs commented that EU Member States have been improving VAT collection throughout the EU.

“This must be recognized and commended. But a loss of 150 billion euro per year for national budgets remains unacceptable, especially when 50 billion euro (USD 58 billion) of this is lining the pockets of criminals, fraudsters and probably even terrorists.” While much progress has been achieved to improve VAT collection and administration at the EU level, Member States should now move forward and agree as soon as possible on the much broader reform to cut down on VAT fraud in the EU’s system, he said.

“A substantial improvement will only come with the adoption of the VAT reform we proposed a year ago. I urge Member States to move forward before the European Parliament elections in 2019,” he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency