Payment service providers roped into EU battle against VAT fraud

Payment service providers roped into EU battle against VAT fraud

EU banks and payment networks will be obliged to hand over data on e-commerce purchases to security services under a European Commission-led initiative to clamp down on VAT fraud.

The agreement will for the first time make relevant data on online purchases available to anti-fraud authorities in their fight against VAT fraud in the sector, estimated at around €5 billion a year in the EU.

The rules will seek to ensura that anti-fraud experts in EU Member States have access to VAT-relevant data held by payment intermediaries such as credit card and direct debit providers that facilitate over 90% of online purchases in the EU.

Practically, payment service providers will be obliged to provide authorities with certain payment data from cross-border sales, which anti-fraud specialists operating within the 'Eurofisc' network can then access and analyse.

The Commission says similar provisions in place in some Member States and other countries have already shown how such cooperation can have a tangible effect in tackling fraud in the e-commerce sector.

The new rules will now need to be confirmed by the European Parliament before entering into force in January 2024.

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