BUSINESS

Tax inspectors being very slow checking lists

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

The lists of possible tax dodgers at the monitoring authorities’ disposal are being checked at a particularly slow rate, according to data released on Thursday by Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis.

To date, the number of fully probed cases from the so-called Lagarde list (of Greek depositors at a branch of HSBC in Switzerland) has come to 177, another 623 cases of money forwarded abroad have been scrutinized and not a single name on the so-called Borjans list – named after Norbert Walter-Borjans, finance minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, and received at end-2015 – of Greeks with deposits at UBS has been investigated.

The delays noted are to a great extent due to the understaffing of the monitoring mechanism and the difficulty in closing cases, as it can be hard to trace the taxpayers and to find evidence proving that a crime has been committed. The latter is actually the most serious problem, as overzealous inspectors often misjudge cases that turn in the taxpayers’ favor at administrative courts.

The most impressive element of the data Alexiadis submitted in Parliament concerns the amounts demanded in taxes and fines in each case: The average amount for the 177 cases in the Lagarde list is 1.27 million euros, and, for each case of money forwarding, some 500,000 euros. However, it is not known how much of that money actually enters the state coffers, or how many of the taxpayers have disputed the taxes and fines imposed on them in court

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