Organised VAT Fraud: Features, Magnitude, Policy Perspectives
45 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2012
Date Written: October 12, 2011
The European Union’s VAT system has become vulnerable to organised fraud schemes. In recent years, these schemes, undergoing a change in structure, have affected services and imports of goods from third countries and may also have shifted trade in goods among EU countries. Within the EU-27, organised VAT fraud is estimated to amount to between €20 billion and €35 billion a year. The EU institutions and Member States have put forward several measures to tackle this problem, although some of these have placed a disproportionate burden on businesses. The article shows that need to maximise the effectiveness of anti-VAT-fraud strategy cannot be separated from a broad view of the problem and of the functioning of the VAT system as a whole. A drastic change in the VAT system might provide a robust defence against fraud but produce uncertain effects. Enhancing risk management and exchange of good practices is essential. Technology-based solutions appear to be a pragmatic and politically feasible approach to new challenges, with good prospects of success.
Keywords: VAT, tax evasion, fraud
JEL Classification: H21, H26, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation