Thousands caught in tax dodge over assets

More than 14,000 people evaded tax in 2001 by declaring earnings that in some cases were over 100,000 euros lower than the imputed income suggested by their major assets, the Economy Ministry said yesterday. According to the tax system, the purchase and upkeep of items such as houses, cars and yachts implies a certain level of income, dependent on their value, which is automatically assigned to each taxpayer. Ministry officials found 14,439 discrepancies between what people’s assets dictated they were earning and what they actually declared. In the most extreme cases, 27 taxpayers declared incomes that were at least 100,000 euros lower than their imputed income. The majority of incidents (9,366), however, involved people declaring an income that was lower by between 4,000 and 7,000 euros. The ministry said it was sending the details of the offenders on to the relevant tax offices.