This is the heart of the agreement approved yesterday by Ecofin, the Economics and Finance Council which brings together the ministers of the economy of the member countries of the European Union. The objective of the new regulation, as reported by the newspaper Italy today, is to facilitate the exchange of data concerning the cross-border payments between the same Member States, so as to more easily discover the possible scams inherent in virtual operations. In other words, credit card data and account statements can be sifted by the tax authorities in search of any crafty people.
The various states now have the go-ahead to collect "in a harmonized way" the data "made available by payment service providers", ie banks or credit card institutions. All the payment information they will end up in a large cauldron – or in a central electronic system – which will store them for a period of five years. The tax authorities of the individual States will then be able to elaborate them when and if they deem it oppressive to find hypothetical scams and punish VAT evaders.
A new tool to combat VAT evasion
THE data that the payment service providers will have to provide to the authorities of the Member States are the IBAN, the VAT number, the address, the BIC code, the name of the selling company, in other words what could be used by anti-fraud specialists on payments concerning " cross-border sales ". We remind you that this term refers to a payment during which the payer is in a certain EU country while the seller is in another member country or a third country. Anyone who fails and does not comply with the obligations regarding VAT will be immediately identified and punished.
An important clarification to make is that theobligation it applies only if, over the course of a quarter, a payment service provider provides its services to the recipient's address for more than 25 cross-border payments. In that case, he must provide the authorities with the aforementioned data.
The basic idea is therefore to corner payment service providers, to extract from them the bank details of those who carry out online transactions over a certain number and punish the tax evaders. The new rules are just waiting to be confirmed by the European Parliament to enter into force as from January 2024.