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VAT in the EU: a €168 billion loss

Sep 4, 2015 | News

(04 September 2015) – VAT revenue collection has failed to show significant improvement across EU Member States according to the latest figures released by the European Commission today.

Based on VAT collection figures from 2013, the overall difference between the expected VAT revenue and the amount actually collected (the so-called “VAT Gap”) did not improve on 2012. While 15 Member States including Latvia, Malta and Slovakia saw an improvement in their figures, 11 Member States such as Estonia and Poland saw deterioration.

The total amount of VAT lost across the EU is estimated at €168 billion, according to the report. This equates to 15.2% of revenue loss due to fraud and evasion, tax avoidance, bankruptcies, financial insolvencies and miscalculation in 26 Member States.

As well as setting out detailed data on the difference between the amount of VAT due and the amount actually collected in Member States in 2013, the latest VAT Gap study gives an indication of the effectiveness of VAT enforcement and compliance measures.

In 2013, the estimated VAT gaps of Member States ranged between 4 percent in Sweden to 41 percent in Romania.

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