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  • VAT Gap: Nearly €160 bil
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< Back to News
VAT Gap: Nearly €160 billion lost in uncollected revenues in the EU in 2014
06 September 2016

Research shows that the overall difference between the expected VAT revenue and the amount actually collected (the so-called 'VAT Gap') amounted once again to an unacceptably high yearly figure. The findings support recent calls by the Commission to overhaul the EU's VAT system to tackle fraud and make it more efficient. Member States must now follow up on the Commission's Action Plan towards a single VAT area presented last April by agreeing on the way forward towards a definitive VAT regime for cross-border trade in the Union. More immediate measures to tackle the problem of VAT fraud have already been set in motion, but today's figures show that deeper reforms are needed.

The VAT Gap rate ranged from a high of 37.9% of uncollected VAT in Romania to a low of only 1.2% in Sweden. In absolute terms, the highest VAT Gap of €36.9 billion was recorded in Italy while Luxembourg had the lowest of €147 million.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs said: "Our Member States are losing tens of billions of euros in uncollected VAT revenue. This is unacceptable. The current regime is woefully ill-equipped to deal with the problems of VAT fraud and miscalculations, and it's clear that the numbers will not get better by themselves. Member States must now quickly agree on a definitive fraud-proof EU VAT system, as laid out by the Commission earlier this year. I therefore urge all of our Member States to have a frank and meaningful discussion in order to feed into next year's proposals, so we can tackle this issue once and for all.

The VAT Gap study is funded by the Commission as part of its work to reform the VAT system in Europe and to clamp down on tax fraud and evasion. Today's report is evidence that while some Member States have improved their VAT revenue collection, substantial progress can only be achieved if Member States agree to make the current EU VAT system simpler, more fraud-proof and business-friendly.

Compared to 2013, the 2014 VAT GAP has decreased by €2.5 billion but individual performances of Member States still vary enormously when it comes to VAT compliance. Some 18 Member States showed an improvement in their figures, while eight Member States failed to collect more VAT revenues than the year before.

The estimates for 2014 are more accurate than previous years thanks to improved accounting data provided by EU Member States, in line with new international standards.


  • Creative Europe Project ...
    The Department of Haute-Loire is looking for three European partners to parti...
    25 August 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • White paper on the futur...
    White paper on the future of Europe...
    27 July 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The EU's response to the...
    One of our student interns produced this well-written article about the ongoi...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • The importance of labour...
    This article, written by a student at the University of Malta, passionately c...
    20 February 2017
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Strengthened EU-Swiss Re...
    The EU enjoys very close relations with Switzerland in every sense: culturall...
    29 December 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • A boost for the European...
    The European Commission is stepping up its efforts to develop a strong space ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU increasing support fo...
    The EU has announced that it shall implement new aid programmes in the Latin ...
    26 October 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes EU c...
    Delivering on the Security Union: Commission proposes EU certification system...
    07 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • VAT Gap: Nearly €160 bil...
    A staggering €159.5 billion in Value Added Tax revenues were lost across the ...
    06 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Variable attitudes towar...
    Performance-related pay and employee reward systems in Europe are often uneve...
    01 September 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • EU's 2017 budget: Parlia...
    The EU's budget for next year will be decided over the coming months. Startin...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
  • Commission proposes 2018...
    The Commission is also seeking to highlight the role of Europe's cultural her...
    30 August 2016
    read more...
    Europe Direct Valletta
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