BUSINESS IN SHORT

Year-end spike in tax fraud

TAX FRAUDSTERS are increasing their activities ahead of key legislative changes aimed at tackling tax evasion which will become effective in January 2014. The Financial Administration registered a suspected increase in requests for VAT refunds in November, with certain applications containing an increase of as high as 100 percent in the amount of VAT refunds, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír told the press on December 14.

TAX FRAUDSTERS are increasing their activities ahead of key legislative changes aimed at tackling tax evasion which will become effective in January 2014. The Financial Administration registered a suspected increase in requests for VAT refunds in November, with certain applications containing an increase of as high as 100 percent in the amount of VAT refunds, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír told the press on December 14.

“This concerned an amount of €50 million in November,” Kažimír said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “If this trend continues in December and January, under the old legislative conditions, then the amount involving signs of fraud may grow to €150-200 million.”

Kažimír added that the special ‘Tax Cobra’ financial law-enforcement unit has saved around €250 million for the state budget since it was set up more than a year ago.

The police have pressed charges against 186 people for tax evasion in 2013, said Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, who also attended the press conference together with head of the Financial Administration František Imrecze, as reported by TASR. Apart from this, they have broken up two criminal gangs and another six organised groups. A total of 500 police officers have been assigned to fight tax evasion, Kaliňák added.

Imrecze said that tax evasion involving VAT has mostly concerned trading in corn, construction and the production of energy from alternative sources, as reported by TASR.

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