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Taxation and Customs Union
News article12 December 2018Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union1 min read

Online payment companies to help in the fight against tax fraud

Online payment companies to help in the fight against tax fraud – Commission proposal

A Commission proposal linked to the fight against VAT fraud presented today would help to establish better cooperation between tax authorities and Payment Service Providers such as credit card and direct debit providers.

More than 90% of European customers’ online purchases involve a payment intermediary and data held by these companies can offer EU tax administrations a useful tool to control the VAT obligations on cross-border sales of goods and services.

Rules proposed today establish quarterly information-sharing obligations for providers, which will allow Member State anti-fraud specialists (the 'Eurofisc' network) to exchange and analyse certain payment data received from the providers. In turn, both EU and non-EU online sellers will be identifiable when they do not comply with VAT obligations.

Similar provisions in place in some Member States and other countries have already shown how such cooperation can have a tangible boost in tackling fraud in the e-commerce sector. The measures, developed following intensive discussions with industry leaders and Member State tax authorities, will now be submitted to Member States in the Council for agreement and to the European Parliament for consultation.

Today’s announcement comes following related proposals to ensure the smooth running of the VAT system when it comes to online sales once an already agreed major overhaul comes into force in January 2021.

More information on the Commission’s work to fight VAT fraud and improve VAT revenue collection in Member States, including on today’s proposals for Payment Service Providers, is available on the website.


Publication date
12 December 2018
Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union