According to the latest data published by the European Commission on Thursday, the nation of Greece lost €7.4 billion in revenues from Value-Added Tax (VAT) that was not collected during 2017.
The extent of the practice of tax evasion across Europe is clearly massive, as the Commission’s data revealed that a total of €137 billion went uncollected by national authorities during the year 2017.
The so-called ”VAT Gap” has declined somewhat compared to previous years, but it still remains disturbingly high all across the Union, and of course, in Greece.
Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, says that “to achieve more meaningful progress we will need to see a thorough reform of the VAT system to make it more fraud-proof, because Member States cannot afford to stand by while billions are lost to illegal VAT carousel fraud and inconsistencies in the system.”
In absolute terms, the highest VAT gap, amounting to approximately €33.5 billion, was recorded in Italy, while in terms of percentage, the fraud was worst in the nation of Romania.
The VAT Gap study is a tool funded by the EU budget and its findings are relevant for both the EU and all its individual member states.