Pierre Moscovici, the EU finance commissioner, is seen at a press conference in Brussels on 18 January 2018.
Photo: European Commission
The European finance and tax commissioner has called Luxembourg and four other EU countries “tax black holes”.
Pierre Moscovici, who is France’s EU commissioner, said on 18 January that “some European countries are fiscal black holes,” according to the AFP news service and New Europe newspaper:
“Obviously many EU countries are places where aggressive tax optimisation finds a place… you realise that the tax flows are going to countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus.”
On Thursday, he praised this as a positive development that demonstrated the initiative was working. Moscovici told reporters: “The blacklist is not an end in itself. Our political goal ultimately is to get these countries to change their tax models”.
Moscovici was speaking at a press conference in Brussels to announce changes to EU VAT rules. Member states will have more flexibility to set lower VAT rates for certain goods and services on their own. Certain products, such as arms and tobacco, are not eligible for reduced rates, he noted.
In addition, Moscovici stated, the European Commission will aim to simplify VAT filing procedures for small and medium sized businesses.