EU budget: Boosting cooperation between tax and customs authorities for a safer and more prosperous EU

Moscovici EU Budget 2018

© European Union , 2018 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing measures to make tax and customs cooperation between Member States better and more efficient.

Continued funding of these programmes will help the EU to progress inoffering businesses unfettered and easy access to the EU’s Single Market so that trade can flourish, protect citizens from dangerous goods entering the Union at our external borders and ensure that Member States are equipped to fight tax avoidance and tax evasion.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Protecting the European Union’s customs territory and implementing our common rules on taxation require strong cooperation between the relevant national authorities. Our new Customs and Fiscalis programmes will help to make that happen. At minimal cost, they provide a true European added value, offering unprecedented advantages to Member States’ tax and customs authorities as they work together in the interests of our citizens and businesses.”

The Commission is proposing a continued financial commitment of €950 million for the EU’s customs programme and €270 million for the EU’s Fiscalis programme, representing just 0.07% and 0.02% of the next EU budget respectively.

The new Customs Programme will help put in place a modern Customs Union which puts the interests of EU business and citizens at its heart, by:

  • Increasing information and data exchange between national customs administrations to better detect the flow of dangerous and counterfeit goods: a total of 2.7 million pieces of ammunition and 188,000 pieces of explosives were seized at EU borders in 2017;
  • Supporting customs authorities in protecting the financial and economic interests of the Union, as well as in the correct collection of customs duties, import VAT and excise duties: The new programme will improve the capacity of customs administrations to deal with growing trade and changing economic and working models such as e-commerce and blockchain and will enhance cooperation and training across sectors;
  • Devising better risk management strategies to protect the EU’s financial interests; and help the EU better respond to security threats and transnational crime;
  • Continuing to facilitate growing levels of trade: EU customs authorities handled 331 million declarations last year.

The new Fiscalis Programme will support cooperation between Member States’ tax administrations and better contribute to the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, by:

  • Putting in place better and more connected IT systems, which each Member State would otherwise have to develop individually. This includes developing and maintaining interoperable and cost-effective IT solutions to support tax authorities in implementing EU legislation;
  • Sharing good practices and training to boost efficiency: this includes helping prevent unnecessary administrative burdens for citizens and businesses (including SMEs) in cross-border transactions and significantly adding to the 423,000 tax professionals trained since 2014;
  • Putting in place joint actions in risk management and audits – 1,000 of which have been organised between Member States since 2014;
  • Fostering Union competitiveness, boosting innovation and facilitating the implementation of new economic models.

Next steps

A swift agreement on the overall long-term EU budget and its sectoral proposals is essential to ensure that EU funds for ongoing programmes, including those dedicated to strengthening the Customs Union and the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion can continue to deliver results on the ground.

Delays similar to the ones experienced at the beginning of the current 2014-2020 budgetary period would mean that the EU loses out on revenues to the EU budget from an efficient collection of EU customs duties, that customs authorities are less able to keep our borders safe, and that citizens are less protected from dangerous and counterfeit goods.

An agreement on the next long-term budget in 2019 would provide for a seamless transition between the current long-term budget (2014-2020) and the new one and would ensure predictability of funding to the benefit of all.

Background

The EU’s Customs Programme has already boosted the ability of customs authorities to keep our borders safe, while facilitating trade and protecting EU citizens from dangerous and counterfeit goods. It has also enabled better and more efficient collection of EU customs duties, which in 2017 made up almost 16% of the EU’s overall budget. As the EU Customs Union prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018, today’s proposal would ensure continued improvements to the backbone of the EU’s Single Market.

In parallel, the EU’s Fiscalis Programme has also proven itself indispensable in helping tax administrations to cooperate better across the EU to improve tax collection and fight tax fraud. First designed in 1993 purely as a training and exchange programme for tax officials, Fiscalis has become a game-changer for the EU’s taxation landscape over the last 20 years. It offers a flexible and simple environment for tax cooperation, with a substantial EU added value and impact despite its relatively limited size. In one year alone (2015), it helped Member States to assess over €590 million in taxes for possible recovery through joint EU controls. Today’s proposal for a new ‘Fiscalis’ programme comes at a time where public sentiment against tax avoidance runs high, with EU governments needing to recoup more than €50 billion a year lost to Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud. A strengthened programme will help address this issue.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

5 ways for businesses to walk the talk on gender equality

France is building a village for people with Alzheimer’s

These are the 4 most likely scenarios for the future of energy

Coronavirus spread now a global emergency declares World Health Organization

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

What kind of action on social justice should we expect from companies in the future?

Fit for Future platform selects EU initiatives for simplification and modernisation

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

ILO’s Bureau for Employers´Activities to publish new study on women in business and management

Finland has just published everyone’s taxes on ‘National Jealousy Day’

Commission presents first reflections on building a strong social Europe for just transitions

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is the moment for climate justice”, Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström claims from Brussels

How digital can transform healthcare in Asia for millions of people

Recession: the best argument for growth

European Union signs aviation agreement with the Republic of Korea

Is co-living an answer to the affordable housing crisis?

Businesses, governments and consumers to implement a more climate-friendly approach to #BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day 2018

Bold, innovative measures for refugees and their hosts sought, at first ever Global Forum

Are we sleepwalking into a new global crisis?

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

EU institutions agree on priorities for coming years: A common agenda for our recovery and renewed vitality

Amid ‘volatile’ environment, UN mission chief urges Iraqi leaders to ‘listen to the voice of the people’

India and the US: 5 ways the countries compare

The EU heads of State and Government about the result of the European Elections 2019

Global South cooperation ‘vital’ to climate change fight, development, Guterres tells historic Buenos Aires summit

Suicide in postpartum depression

As Libya talks resume in Geneva, UN negotiator seeks to overcome sticking points

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate emergency, call to support breastfeeding, rising political heat and new investigation board for Syria

Humanity ‘at a crossroads’ as damage to planet poses growing risk to health, UN environment agency warns

Australian solar could power Singapore within a decade

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

From Model T to EV: a short history of motor vehicle manufacturing

EU mobilises €9 million to tackle the food crisis in Haiti

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

It ain’t over until Google says it’s over

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

A money laundering case on Vatican Bank’s road to renovation

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

NASA is recruiting new astronauts – this is what it takes to apply

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

Humanitarian action: New outlook for EU’s global aid delivery challenged by COVID-19

European Youth, quo vadis?

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

Coronavirus: Commission issues guidelines on testing

This farmer is saving the jungle by growing food in it

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

Science leads the response to COVID-19. These 25 scientists are tackling the other global challenges

Half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services – are we doing enough?

Permafrost is thawing so fast it’s gouging holes in the Arctic

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

Telemental health care in times of psychological instability: call 188

Climate change and health: a much needed multidisciplinary approach

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

“A divided Europe is not in China’s interests”, Ambassador Zhang of the Chinese Mission to EU welcomes Brussels

EU/Africa, Caribbean and Pacific: towards which partnership?

Commission welcomes political agreement on InvestEU

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

We can feed the world in a sustainable way, but we need to act now

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s