European network against tax fraud

At the initiative of the Dutch and French governments Europe will introduce a new way to tackle tax fraud. A special network of fraud experts and digital exchange of data is to ensure that tax fraud is detected and combatted faster and more effectively.

Together with his European counterparts Dutch Finance Minister De Jager decided in Luxemburg to implement the network which has to be operational by the end of 2010.

Minister De Jager: "What is of crucial importance in the new approach is the linking of files. Information is already exchanged now, but shortly it will be entirely automatic which has three advantages: an increased chance of being caught, reduced loss and earlier detection of fraud. This EU-wide approach is to prevent that fraudsters operate in more than one country." The fraud-expert network is an important part of the new regulation which was adopted on 8 June. Within the network information which is already known to the Tax Department is exchanged. There is no extra work involved for companies or private individuals.

Prevention and combatting of tax fraud and undeclared savings are high on the agenda of European Finance Ministers because many billions of euros are involved. In the Netherlands the Tax Department works closely with the FIOD (Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service and Economic Investigation Service) in the fight against fraud. Recently this resulted in some successes. For instance 28 million euros of additional (tax) assessments as well as 4 million euros in fines for VAT carousel fraud were imposed in 2009. This type of fraud entails that an entrepreneur does not pay VAT although he does charge it to his clients. Furthermore, the Tax Department and the FIOD have uncovered two large-scale fraud cases with CO2 emission rights. And people who do not declare their savings who are caught by the Tax Department and the FIOD will now be imposed a fine of at most 300%.