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Semeta Turns Up Heat On Liechtenstein Anti-Fraud Agreement

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels Thursday, January 14, 2010

European Union (EU) Tax Commissioner-designate Algirdas Semeta has urged member states to increase pressure on Austria and Luxembourg to sign the anti-fraud agreement with Liechtenstein.

During a recent EU parliamentary committee meeting, the designated Tax Commissioner emphasized the fact that there are still member states within the EU who continue to oppose the agreement.

Given that the anti-fraud agreement with Liechtenstein is expected to serve as a model for the negotiation of further agreements with other countries, such as Switzerland and Monaco, it is imperative that the agreement is signed and sealed, he continued.

According to Semeta, the signing of such agreements will strengthen the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud.

Up until now, Austria and Luxembourg have opposed the signing of the anti-fraud agreement with Liechtenstein, and have also opposed plans to revise the Savings Tax Directive.

Semeta underlined the fact that tax competition must be fair. He also alluded to “harmful practices” within the EU in the area of taxation. He concluded that now the damages caused by so-called “tax havens” have been recognized, a common solution must be found.

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