by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
12 December 2017
The European Commission has warned taxpayers in Europe of letters being sent by fraudsters bearing its name and demanding the payment of tax not due.
The Commission said that the scam letters inform citizens of the existence of an outstanding tax debt, seek immediate payment, and threaten legal action for non-payment.
They purport to be from the Tax Administration of the European Commission and bear the logo of the European Commission. They are signed by an official of the “Taxation and Customs” of the European Commission.
Warning of the scam, the Commission said: “Please note that the European Commission and its departments never send individual letters to citizens regarding their tax status or to demand payment of taxes. The taxation of individuals, including setting the tax rates, determining the tax base and the subsequent collection of the tax debt, is an exclusive competence of EU member states.”
“If you have already received such a letter, you are advised to immediately terminate all further contacts with the fraudsters and to contact your local tax authority. If you have already acted on such a letter and have transferred funds to the fraudsters, you are advised to contact both your tax authority and your local law enforcement agency for assistance.”
“The European Commission takes very seriously such fraudulent use of its name, logo, and reputation. We are therefore assessing what action we can take with the law enforcement authorities of members states to discontinue the reported scam and to possibly prosecute those responsible. Any such action will not, however, be a remedy for any individual loss suffered as a result of the scam, for which civil and/or criminal action at national level is the only remedy.”