10 October 2019
Benelux countries strengthen their cooperation on combatting tax fraud
Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Benelux, Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna, Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Belgian Minister of Finance Alexander De Croo have signed, in the margin of the European Council 'ECOFIN´, a Benelux agreement to reinforce their cooperation in the common fight against tax fraud. They will be focussing greater attention on digitisation so as to combat new forms of fraud and anticipate the latest developments in this field.
Pierre Gramegna: "Over the past decades, the Benelux Union, which brings together three of the founding members of the European Union, has proven itself as an innovative and pioneering laboratory in Europe. This new agreement, signed under the Luxembourg Presidency, once again shows the continued commitment of the three countries in cross-border cooperation, and is a strong signal of the desire to make progress in the common fight against tax fraud.”
The three Benelux countries have been collaborating closely in the area of taxation and combatting cross-border tax fraud since 2001. This collaboration has generated significant financial results and has repeatedly served as a model for combatting fraud on the European level. For example, a system (Transaction Network Analysis) making it possible to automatically detect cross-border VAT fraud was developed by the Benelux and subsequently adopted by the EU.
With this agreement, the three ministers are taking a further step by jointly participating in digital projects that will permit the automatic exchange of information between the countries. In the field, joint studies will be conducted in order to detect new fraud phenomena. The three countries will share their experiences in tax matters more extensively and together attentively monitor European developments on the subject. At least once a year, the tax administrations of the three countries will hold high-level strategic consultations to discuss progress and provide further impetus.
Via this agreement, the three ministers also confirm their determination to continue playing a pioneering role vis-à-vis the European Union with their strengthened tax cooperation.