Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Direct taxation, including individual income taxation, falls within the competence of the Member States. In the absence of EU legislation, Member States have freedom to design their tax systems (including rules to prevent tax evasion) in the most appropriate way to meet their domestic policy objectives subject to general EU Treaty obligations. The Commission can make proposals for EU legislation to improve the functioning of the internal market, respecting subsidiarity and proportionality that govern action at EU level. Several EU initiatives targeted at cross-border tax evasion would also assist Member States in tackling cases of tax evasion within their borders. The use of online platforms makes this easier than in the traditional economy as all transactions are recorded by the platforms.
As regards VAT, the Commission cooperates with the Member States, through the VAT Committee, in order to enhance uniform application of EU VAT provisions to supplies carried out through and by the sharing economy platforms.
Furthermore, in its communication on a Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, the Commission committed to assessing the role of platforms. In September it launched a public consultation on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy. The public consultation includes questions on the tax aspects of the collaborative economy. The Commission will assess the feedback received and on that basis decide on possible action in this area.