EU launches campaign to tackle tax evasion

Pedro Gonçalves
EU launches campaign to tackle tax evasion

The European Union has moved to take action against tax evasion by individuals in its first ever EU-wide campaign to tackle the black economy.

The initiative intends to raise awareness among workers, companies and policymakers that undeclared work does not pay off. 

The campaign comes after a recent Eurobarometer report found one in 10 Europeans report they have purchased goods or services in the past year that might have derived from undeclared work, and a third know somebody who works undeclared.

Together we can make undeclared work a thing of the past"

Nicolas Schmit, commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: "All work matters. All workers deserve their social rights. By launching this campaign today, we want workers, companies, and governments to come together in recognising the benefits of declared work.

"The EU is stepping up efforts in tackling undeclared work, encouraging cooperation between Member States and raising awareness throughout Europe. Together we can make undeclared work a thing of the past."

Almost all (95%) of those surveyed denied that they had undertaken undeclared paid work in the last year, while only 3% said they had.

The most frequently purchased undeclared goods or services are home repairs or renovations (30%), hairdressing and beauty treatments (27%) and repair services (19%). A third of Europeans know somebody who works undeclared

On tax compliance, a third said they knew someone who worked without declaring income tax to the tax authorities. There is wide variance across Europe with over half in Greece (59%), Denmark and the Netherlands (55%) compared to only 13% in the UK.

The campaign to transform undeclared into declared work is kicking off on social media (#EU4FairWork). On 16 March 2020, a Week for Action for Declared Workwill start in EU Member States with a range of activities.


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