More and more professionals are withholding value-added tax from the authorities in a bid to maintain cash flows.
Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) inspections last months led to fines imposed for the nonpayment of VAT and the tax on salaried service growing by 51 percent within a period of just one year: In January 2013 the fines amounted to 35.3 million euros, compared to 23.3 million in January 2012.
In total the fines imposed by SDOE inspectors last month amounted to 258 million euros, from 217.4 million euros in January 2012. Notably, while there were more inspections conducted (1,559 against 1,460) and while more fines were imposed, the violations identified were actually lower in number: In January 2012 the violations numbered 5,332, while last month there were just 2,999 identified. Most of those violations concerned the issuing of fake financial data.
The question now is how these fines will be collected, as experience to date shows that despite the imposition of fines, debtors often fail to turn up to settle their accounts, at the expense of public coffers.