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Fiscalis programme (2003 - 2007)

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Fiscalis programme (2003 - 2007)

The European Union is setting up a multiannual Community action programme (Fiscalis) for the period from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2007 to reinforce the functioning of the indirect taxation systems of the internal market.


Decision No 2235/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2002 adopting a Community programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the internal market (Fiscalis programme 2003-2007) [See amending acts].


The Fiscalis programme replaces the Matthaeus-Tax programme

The objectives of this programme are:

  • to achieve among officials a high common standard of understanding of Community law, particularly in the indirect tax sphere, and of its implementation in the Member States;
  • to secure efficient, effective and extensive cooperation among the Member States and between them and the Commission;
  • to ensure the continuing improvement of administrative procedures so as to take account of the needs of administrations and taxpayers through the development and dissemination of administrative best practice.

Its strategic objectives are:

  • to simplify and modernise the legislation;
  • to modernise the administration;
  • to apply Community legislation uniformly;
  • to improve administrative cooperation and the fight against fraud.

Communication and information-exchange systems will be established and manuals and guides will be drawn up by the Commission and the Member States. The hardware, software and network connections must be common to all Member States so as to ensure that systems are compatible.

The Commission and the Member States will organise exchanges of officials for periods of no longer than six months, seminars and, on a pilot basis, bilateral and multilateral control exercises within the Community legal framework for cooperation.

The Commission and the Member States will provide a common core of training for officials and, where appropriate, will open the training courses in indirect taxation provided by each Member State for its own officials to officials from all Member States. Member States will provide their officials with the language and vocational training necessary for them to participate in the programme.

The expenditure necessary for the implementation of the programme will be shared between the Community and the Member States.

The financial framework for the period from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2007 is set at EUR 44 million. The annual appropriations will be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.

In carrying out its tasks, the Commission will consult the Standing Committee on Administrative Cooperation in the field of Indirect Taxation (established by Regulation (EEC) No 218/92) regarding the measures to be taken. If the measures the Commission wishes to adopt are not in accordance with the Committee's opinion, the Council may take a different decision within a period of three months.

The programme will be assessed by:

  • the Member States, which will send the Commission an interim report and a final report according to a set timetable;
  • the Commission, which will submit to the European Parliament and the Council a communication based on the Member States' interim reports and concerning the desirability of continuing the programme.

Decision No 787/2004/EC amends Decision No 2235/2002/EC with a view to adapting the reference amounts to take account of the enlargement of the European Union.

Council Regulation (EC) No 885/2004 amends in particular Decision No 2235/2002/EC in the fields of free movement of goods, company law, agriculture, taxation, education and training, culture and audiovisual policy and external relations, by reason of the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2235/2002/EC [codecision adoption: COD/2002/0015]



OJ L 341 of 17.12.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision No 787/2004/EC



OJ L 138 of 30.04.2004

Regulation (EC) No 885/2004



OJ L 168 of 01.05.2004


Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 17 May 2006, establishing a Community programme to improve the operation of taxation systems in the internal market (Fiscalis 2013) [COM(2006) 202 final - Not published in the Offical Journal] [Procedure COD/2006/0076 ].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 6 April 2005 concerning Community programmes "Customs 2013" and "Fiscalis 2013" [COM(2005) 111 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

According to the Commission, the ongoing Customs 2007 and Fiscalis 2007 programmes are improving cooperation between customs and tax administrations and their officials. Thanks to the establishment of trans-European computerised networks, they enable customs control obligations within the internal market to be met, and taxation of goods and services in accordance with national and Community tax legislation within this market to be maintained. Consequently, the Commission wishes to renew them and recommends the inclusion of two new-generation programmes, Fiscalis 2013 and Customs 2013, in the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013 and the financing of the Excise Movement Control System (EMCS) project from Fiscalis 2013 as from 2009.

Report of 12 November 2003 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Report on the implementation of the Fiscalis programme (1998-2002) [COM(2003) 678 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

This report was drawn up in accordance with Article 12(3) of Decision No 888/98/EC. It has two components:

  • a report on the implementation of joint operations (seminars, exchanges, multilateral controls and training initiatives), and
  • a report on the IT side of the programme.

The first component sets out for each instrument the action taken, its usefulness in the context of the programme, relevant financial data and improvements to be made. It analyses the relationship between the action taken and the programme's formal and strategic objectives. The second component reports on the results and impact of the various IT applications financed by the programmes and the management tools for IT projects.

Communication of 17 January 2002 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the desirability of continuing a programme of action to ameliorate the taxation systems of the internal market [COM(2002) 10 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

The communication is based on the mid-term evaluation of the first three years of implementation of the Fiscalis programme. The assessment is encouraging as the programme is seen as a valuable and indispensable tool for the support of EU budget policy. By disseminating knowledge and experience, it has made it possible to improve control of indirect taxation systems and step up the fight against fraud whilst encouraging officials to adopt new administrative practices in cooperating with other tax administrations. Furthermore, the programme has helped to finance Community computer support operations, which are key control instruments for VAT and excise.

The continuation of the programme is therefore not only necessary for the control of VAT within the Community, but also in order to pave the way for the accession of new Member States.

See also

For more information visit the DG TAXUD website

Last updated: 04.07.2007