ECONOMY

Monitoring bogus and fake invoices

The Special Inspections Service (YPEE) of the Finance Ministry found bogus and fake invoices totaling more than -300 million during 2006. Some 30,000 enterprises bought the fake tax documents, aimed at paying reduced or no tax at all. As tax evasion has risen across all economic sectors, the ministry has issued a guidebook for dealing with those who use various ways to feed the market with fake data. The service suggests that bogus and fake data are usually found in wholesale commerce, industrial production, the construction sector, the recyclable refuse delivery sector, the leasing of company advertising and cellular telephony and computer equipment companies. These are the sectors where the YPEE and the other monitoring services of the ministry will focus their inspections on in 2007. The analytical guide explains all the cases that indicate a possible transaction through fake invoices, while there is a special reference to international rings and overpricing of products. YPEE adds that those who issue fake and bogus data are either real people who set up companies exclusively for issuing such data and then disappear, or fake companies issuing bogus data, or even enterprises with apparently legal transactions «relying on lost or stolen identity documents.» The YPEE guide suggests that construction companies seek and very often use fake tax data to bridge the obvious gap between the expenditure for a construction and the real cost of the construction including the builder’s payment, so as to avoid the tax inspectors’ intervention. The government is also expecting the proposal by the General Secretariat for Information Technology Systems on electronic invoices and is examining the idea for the online connection of all enterprises with the ministry’s IT Center, with every invoice bearing a secure electronic number.