The EU does not have a direct role in raising taxes or setting tax rates. The amount of tax you pay is decided by your government. The EU's role is to support implementation of national tax rules – to ensure they are consistent with certain EU policies, such as:
- promoting economic growth and job creation
- ensuring the free flow of goods, services and capital around the EU (in the single market)
- making sure businesses in one country don't have an unfair advantage over competitors in another
- ensuring taxes don't discriminate against consumers, workers or businesses from other EU countries
EU decisions on tax matters require unanimous agreement by individual governments. This ensures that the interests of every single EU country are taken into account.
The EU also has legislation on cooperation between tax authorities, transparency, tax avoidance, recovery of tax claims and VAT and excise duties.
This course is aimed at young adults. It includes information relevant to this particular phase in life, as young people make the transition to adulthood (do they have to pay tax when they start university, launch their business, work in another country, etc.).