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Member States' tax provisions are to be scrutinised to ensure that they do not discriminate against cross-border workers, in a targeted initiative launched by the Commission

It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people work cross-border in the EU. Gross wages paid to cross-border and seasonal workers in 2010 amounted to €46.9 billion. Worker mobility has been identified as one of the key potentials for increasing growth and employment in Europe. However, tax obstacles remain one of the key deterrents to citizens looking for work in another Member State.

This is why, throughout 2012, the Commission will carry out a thorough assessment of national direct taxes to determine whether they create unfair disadvantages for workers that live in one Member State and work in another. Where discrimination or breaches of the EU's fundamental freedoms are found, the Commission will flag them to the national authorities and insist that the necessary amendments are made. Should the problems persist, the Commission will take infringement procedures against the Member States in question.

Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-Fraud and Audit, said: "EU rules are clear: all EU citizens must be treated equally within the Single Market. There cannot be discrimination, and workers' right to free movement must not be impaired. Most Member States respect these core principles but I am ready to take any measure necessary to ensure that they are reflected in all Member States' tax rules. "

Written by Scott Buckler
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 9:09

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