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Taxation and Customs Union

Acting globally

Today the world is a bigger place. Businesses operate in a truly global environment and so do tax evaders. Anti Tax evasion and avoidance measures must also look beyond the borders of the EU in order to be effective.

the borders
of the EU


Wide-ranging agreements

The EU has signed agreements with five neighbouring countries and ten dependent and associated territories. These agreements ensure that taxation of saved income in these countries is equivalent to that in the EU.

When negotiating relevant agreements with third countries, the EU insists that clauses on good governance in the area of tax are included (see the relevant Communication on promoting good governance in tax matters for more details).

In the field of indirect taxation (e.g. VAT), the EU is willing and able to conclude administrative cooperation agreements with foreign countries.

A global reach

The EU is an active participant in global discussions on matters of tax evasion and avoidance. Together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)the EU works to implement minimum standards across the world and takes part in the Global Forum on Transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, which plays a leading role in promoting transparency and information exchange on tax matters worldwide.

The G20 recognised last April that the solution of automatic exchange of information defended by the European Commission for more than 10 years should be made a global standard.

The new Platform for Tax Good Governance brings together experts from Member States and interest groups, to assist the Commission in monitoring the application of the two Recommendations, and in its on-going work on aggressive tax planning and good governance in tax matters. Read more on the Platform and see the list of selected members.