Strengthening administrative cooperation for combatting VAT fraud (e-commerce)

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EESC opinion: Strengthening administrative cooperation for combatting VAT fraud (e-commerce)

Key points:

The EESC

  • supports the Commission's objective of establishing advanced operational collaboration between tax authorities with regard to VAT fraud in the e-commerce sector based on clear legislative provisions;
  • recommends that the response of the public authorities to sophisticated forms of VAT fraud continuously improve as regards the effectiveness of enforcement – using appropriate technologies such as, for example, artificial intelligence – and in terms of cooperation between the national authorities involved;
  • stresses the need to keep derogations and limitations to the GDPR provisions limited and aimed at the strictly defined objective of fighting VAT fraud. As specific exceptions to general and mandatory rules protecting personal data and individual privacy, such derogations should be narrowly and carefully interpreted by law enforcers;
  • requires that the Commission guarantees, in the future everyday-practice of the system, full and effective implementation of all the safeguards for fundamental freedoms embedded in the proposal, thus striking an appropriate balance between robust enforcement of VAT rules and the necessary protection of individual rights and fundamental freedoms.