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Taxation

National governments are responsible for raising taxes and setting tax rates. The EU does coordinate some national tax rules and tax rates, where differences might discourage people from buying and selling in other EU countries. The EU also promotes

What the Commission is doing

Several tax transparency measures put forward by the Commission in March 2015 aim to tackle corporate tax avoidance. A key element is the automatic exchange of information between EU countries on their tax rulings, which was agreed by EU Ministers in October 2015. 

A Commission action plan, presented in June 2015, lays out further steps for making corporate taxation fairer and more efficient. Based on the plan, in January 2016 the Commission proposed further binding measures, especially against aggressive tax planning (anti tax avoidance package).

In addition, the European Commission monitors national tax policy as part of the ‘European semester’, the EU's annual cycle of economic policy coordination. Based on this, the EU gives country-specific recommendations.

View country profiles

Objectives

Making taxation:

  • fairer through working to eliminate tax discrimination and double taxation, as well as boosting transparency and fighting tax fraud and tax evasion
  • easier through simplifying rules and procedures
  • more efficient through promoting greater cooperation between national tax administrations against fraud

See what other EU institutions are doing on taxation

Key initiatives

Check VAT number

Check a value-added tax identification number on the computerised VAT information exchange system (VIES database).

Check TIN validity

Online check to confirm the structure of a taxpayer identification number.