Cross-border Administrative Cooperation and exchange of tax information: Tackling fraud in social security sector | Brussels, 22-23 March 2018
Seminar in the framework of the “Cross-border Social Fraud/Abuse in Social Security” project
The seminar is a joint initiative of the sectoral European Trade Union Industry Federations ETF, IndustriAll-Europe, EFFAT and EFBWW as well as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and is part of a joint European project on cross border social security abuse/fraud, i.e. the “Cross-border Social Fraud/Abuse in Social Security” project (CROBOSOSU project), financed by the European Commission. The project – in which we are involved as taxation experts – aims at collecting data, facts, cases to unravel evasion mechanisms, identify legal loopholes and ways of circumventing existing rules, and, on the basis of these facts, to elaborate concrete policy recommendations for an overall trade union position.
This thematic seminar is the last one in the second phase of the project, where three experts on labour law, social security and taxation analysed the fact-finding report – prepared during the first phase of the project – and prepared policy recommendations which will feed the ongoing discussion on the revision of the regulation 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and its implementing regulation 987/2009.
Companies operating cross-border have conceived different arrangements to reduce their tax liabilities and to avoid social security contributions. One of the most significant examples is the use of so-called letterbox companies, a phenomenon that started decades ago to avoid corporate taxes and that recently began undermining the social security sector. The legal instruments conceived in the tax sector to tackle the spread of such entities – as well as other fraudulent arrangements and behaviours – could be transposed, or in any case could serve as a model, in the field of social security.
The opacity of certain taxpayers’ situations, due to the possibility to allocate assets abroad, made it complicated for national Administrations to efficiently combat tax fraud and avoidance. Therefore, to date, the main measures adopted at EU level to fight them concern the administrative cooperation between the EU Members.
Indeed, in 2010 the Council Regulation 2010/904/EU of 7 October 2010 on administrative cooperation and combating fraud in the field of VAT entered into force and, as regards direct taxation, the Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation adopted in 2011, has been repeatedly amended (in 2014, 2015 as well as in 2016) introducing, inter alia, the mandatory automatic exchange of information concerning the income from employment. The aforesaid approach has thus material relevance in tackling circumvention of social security contributions.
Information on the seminar
Based on the above-mentioned background, the seminar will be an opportunity to discuss three main topics:
- Exchange of information in the field of taxation: VAT, banking information and employment income
- Administrative assistance for the recovery
- Joint audits and controls: can we envisage cooperation between tax and social security administrations?
Should you require more information, please contact Elena Masseglia (firstname.lastname@example.org).