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ACCA welcomes Commission stance on tax evasion
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The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has welcomed the publication of the European Commission's communication on concrete ways to improve the fight against tax fraud and evasion.
In this latest paper, the body explains how to better use existing instruments in order to promote tax compliance and tackle fraud and evasion.
Many of the approaches raised in the communication are common sense and should be welcome, the accountancy body believes.
Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA said enhancing the exchange of information among the tax administrations in different member states is "instrumental".
"We therefore agree with the Commission's proposal to improve the identification of taxpayers and to conduct an impact assessment on the creation of a European tax identification number," he stated.
"That said, the difficulty lies in the fact that each member state has its own system. This means that their IT architecture, hardware and software may be configured in such a way that they could not handle such a change without requiring expensive modernisation of their systems."
Mr Roy-Chowdhury said that, in the same vein, the proposal to consider a minimum common level of sanctions against tax fraudsters and evaders is tempting.
"But again, the way in which different taxes are implemented in the various member states will make this difficult," he claimed.
ACCA has also welcomed the third pillar of the communication relating to how to coherently deal with third countries and tax havens located outside the EU.
The body strongly agrees that there is a need to push at global level for the development and the implementation of standards equivalent to EU standards.
It endorses the proposal to build an EU favourable tax environment where erosion of tax bases is efficiently tackled, and believes that all jurisdictions should pull together and not help facilitate tax evasion.
"We should not allow the focus on offshore jurisdictions to become an excuse for failed compliance policies by EU countries," Mr Roy-Chowdhury added.
Posted by Stephen Wilkinson
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