Tax Crimes and Illicit Money Flows in the EUs: Comparison and Key Findings

Turksen, Umut, Abukari, Adam, Rasmouki, F, Kreissl, R, Bourton, S, Luecke, Heike, Lui, A, Mahuta, H, Öner, S, Grasso, C, MacLennan, S and Pasculli, L (2023) Tax Crimes and Illicit Money Flows in the EUs: Comparison and Key Findings. In: Turksen, Umut , Vozza, Donato , Kreissl, Reinhard and Rasmouki, Fanou, (eds.) Tax Crimes and Enforcement in the European Union: Solutions for law, policy and practice. Oxford, U.K. : Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780192862341


The European Union (EU) is one of the attractive jurisdictions for illicit money flows (IMFs) in the world. This is due to structural weaknesses and a comparatively stable economic and political environment in the EU. Criminals engaged in IMFs use sophisticated methods such as trusts, shell companies, and VAT carousel to commit crimes such as money laundering and tax crimes. The link between tax crimes and other IMFs is built on the principle that financial criminals will ensure that their criminal proceeds are safely placed, layered, and integrated into the legitimate financial system. In all these processes, as usually associated with money laundering, the proceeds are susceptible to tax crimes since the criminals would evade payment of taxes in most cases. Using case studies in eleven European States, this chapter maps the variety of main legal approaches to countering tax crime in these jurisdictions. Despite EU’s efforts to unify counter-crime measures in its Member States, the national legal frameworks and institutional settings produce different approaches to tackling tax crimes. This chapter concludes that effective domestic and international cooperation in approaches towards mitigating tax crimes and IMFs are evermore needed.

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