Safe deposit boxes not so safe

Safe deposit boxes not so safe

The tax administration is targeting new highs in its collections from state debtors, with the added aim of identifying tax dodgers who hide their property assets. It is now setting its sights on opening safe deposits boxes and monitoring transactions through cards and the asset register.

By the end of the first quarter of 2019 the online asset register will be in partial operation, and will include the entire set of each taxpayer’s declared or identified assets. That means taxpayers who are concealing their incomes, real estate and various other assets of high value will be under greater pressure, as once their hidden possessions are revealed the owners will face very high fines.

The aim of the tax authorities is to create a huge database with all assets possessed by the country’s 8.5 million taxpayers and all enterprises. It will contain details of homes, plots of land, farmland, storage rooms, vehicles, boats and aircraft, large cash amounts held in mattresses, bank deposits, gold bars, shares, bonds, treasury bills, holdings in all kinds of corporations, and mutual fund stakes, among others.

When the asset register is fully up and running and technical inspections are being carried out, the tax administration will be able to determine the real taxable income of each taxpayer based on all revenues and expenses, assets and bank deposits.

The tax authorities are even eyeing the banks’ basements, where safe deposit boxes are stored: Inspectors will be able to know at any given moment whether a taxpayer owns a safe deposit box, although to open it the taxman will have to request a prosecutor’s order; with that granted, tax inspectors will not only be able to open the safe deposit boxes, but also to confiscate – if they have to – the contents.

According to a recent law amendment, the monitoring mechanism also has the right to order credit institutions to provide evidence of all banking moves by their clients for the period from 2015 to 2018.

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