In a speech by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, he mentioned energy and taxes as two issues that will be discussed at the meeting in May. Interestingly, the press release states: “The other issue I put on the May agenda for European leaders is tax evasion and avoidance. There we have to seize the current political momentum, especially on improving exchange of information between our countries. Tax fraud is exactly the kind of issue where it is first and foremost for Member States to act, but where they cannot effectively do so on their own.”
- The phrases “tax evasion,” “avoidance” and “tax fraud” all seem be used interchangeably with no distinction in application or meaning. This seems to be a growing trend in public communications, leading to potentially wrong conclusions and inappropriate actions. Ensure the relevant phrases, supplemented by intent, are used to convey the message.
- Ensure one or more members of Tax are keeping aware of these meetings and trends.
- Inform senior management regularly of current trends, as perceived by the European Council and Member States.