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Algirdas Semeta

European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud

The European Commission is still pushing forward with tax policy and Algirdas Semeta, the tax commissioner and former Lithuanian Finance Minister has a reputation as an ambitious reformer.

Semeta is occupied by two major indirect tax reforms and, while no longer on the front burner, the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) is also a focus for the EC.

The financial transactions tax (FTT) is an idea that’s been kicking around for decades among socialists and radical economists, but it has rarely been kicked further than the long grass by those in power.

Semeta came forward with a proposal to introduce an EU-wide tax on financial transactions at the end of last year, which has gained considerable traction with 11 member states looking to adopt the concept.

“It will bring balance and justice to our fiscal systems, by ensuring that the financial sector contributes fairly to public finances and to society,” Semeta said.

VAT reform is also on the agenda to make the indirect tax more robust and efficient.

“Our strategy for the reform of the VAT system takes a measured approach, to avoid any risk to national revenues or sudden upheavals for businesses,” Semeta said. “The changes which will lead to a better functioning, better protected VAT system will therefore be done in a steady and gradual way, in full consultation with all interested parties.”

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