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EU study: $267 billion lost annually in VAT take

September 19, 2013

BRUSSELS (AP) — A European Union study says the bloc’s 28 member nations may be losing almost 200 billion euros ($267 billion) annually in value-added tax revenues due to tax evasion and a lack of enforcement.

EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said Thursday the amount of revenues slipping through the governments’ nets is “unacceptable, particularly given the impact such sums could have in bolstering public finances.”

The study for the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, found member states lost an estimated 193 billion euros ($258 billion) in VAT revenues in 2011, or 1.5 percent of the EU’s economic output.

While evaded or not-claimed tax payments are inherently hard to measure, the estimated loss adds new urgency to a series of planned European VAT reforms to hinder multinational companies from avoiding the tax.

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