On November 25, 2016 the European Commission published Guidelines for a Model for a European Taxpayers’ Code. Already in the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL on concrete ways to reinforce the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion including in relation to third countries (COM/2012/0351 final) from June 27, 2012 the Commission indicated that it believes that an increase in efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of tax collection is crucial.


Subsequently the drafting of a European taxpayer's code is included as Action 17 in the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL An Action Plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion (COM/2012/0722 final) from December 6, 2012. In this respect the communication mentioned the following:

In order to improve tax compliance, the Commission will compile good administrative practices in Member States to develop a taxpayers' code setting out best practices for enhancing cooperation, trust and confidence between tax administrations and taxpayers, for ensuring greater transparency on the rights and obligations of taxpayers and encouraging a service-oriented approach.


The Commission will launch a public consultation on this at the beginning of 2013. By improving relations between taxpayers and tax administrations, enhancing transparency of tax rules, reducing the risk of mistakes with potentially severe consequences for taxpayers and encouraging tax compliance, encouraging Member States' administrations to apply a taxpayers' code will help to contribute to more effective tax collection.


The (Guidelines for a) European Taxpayers' Code provide(s) a core of principles, which compiles the main existing rights and obligations that govern the relationships between taxpayers and tax administrations. Furthermore, it expects to provide European citizens with a convenient source of knowledge on the main rights and obligations they can expect when dealing with a tax administration in a Member State other than their State of residence.


The European Taxpayers’ Code is a model of behaviour for both European taxpayers and Member States’ tax administrations to follow rather than a strict template code or charter. It is a non-binding instrument.


Subjects discussed in Guidelines for a Model for a European Taxpayers’ Code as published by the European Commission on November 25, 2016 include a.o.:

·   Introduction

o  Nature and scope of the European Taxpayers' Code

o  Background and context of an initiative at EU level

§   Current national situations

§   Consultation process and preparation of the European Taxpayers’ Code

§   Advantages of the European Taxpayers’ Code

·   General Principles and Best Practices

o  General principles

§   Lawfulness and legal certainty

§   Non-discrimination and equality of taxpayers

§   Presumption of honesty

§   Courtesy and Consideration

§   Respect of law

§   Impartiality and independence

§   Fiscal secrecy and data protection

§   Privacy

§   Representation

o  Working together

§   Providing information and guidance to taxpayers

§   Services to taxpayers

§   Key service standards

§   Interpretations of a general nature

§   Advance rulings

o  Procedures

§   Tax declarations

§   Taxpayers’ assessment

§   Audit process

§   Payment and debt collection

§   Voluntary disclosure

§   Sanctions

o  Resolution

§   Internal appeal process

§   Court or tribunal review

§   Right to complain

·   Promoting the extension of some Best Practices and Further Ideas

o  Electronic administration and online services 

§   Electronic administratio 

§   Online services

o  Using innovative approaches for better compliance

§   Innovative education

§   Behavioural approach

§   Enhanced relationships as a basis for cooperative compliance

o  Availability of information in several languages and promotion of a commonly used language

§   Promotion of a commonly-used foreign language

§   Availability of information in several other languages

o  Greater transparency

§   On the side of taxpayers

§   On the side of tax administrations


Click to the language of your choice to be forwarded to the Guidelines for a Model for a European Taxpayers’ Code in that language (English, Deutsch, Español, Português, Italiano, Français, Nederlands or Polski).


The European Commission has made the Guidelines for a Model for a European Taxpayers’ Code available in all EU languages. For other getting the Guidelines for a Model for a European Taxpayers’ Code in another language than mentioned above we refer to the website of the Taxation and Customs Union.



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