How to build a more efficient taxation in the EU. Lessons from Poland

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Poland: 15 Years of EU Membership series. Tuesday, 19th February 2019, Window POLSKA, Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU (Brussel, Belgium).

One important aspect of a responsible long term development concerns the extent to which taxes are collected in an efficient and fair manner. This is particularly important for the Value Added Tax (VAT), which constitutes a large part of government revenues and which has been harmonised by EU rules, both in terms of the base and the rates. A key indicator for tax efficiency is the so-called VAT gap, which measures the percentage difference between the revenues collected and the revenues one would expect given the official tax rates and economy-wide consumption. This gap various enormously across Member States (ranging from more than 30% to 1%). Poland’s experience is showing that strengthening the overall effectiveness of the government machinery in all its aspects might thus be as important as concentrating on specific aspects of enforcing compliance with VAT rules.

The discussion took place with participation of:

  • Filip Świtała, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Finance;
  • Maria Teresa Fábregas, Director for Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration, DG TAXUD, European Commission;
  • Piotr Arak, Director, Polish Economic Institute

Moderation: Jim Brunsden (Financial Times).

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