Tax Cobra unit uncovered massive tax fraud

The Čičikov case is the second biggest VAT case in the history of independent Slovakia

Financial Directorate president František Imrecze Financial Directorate president František Imrecze (Source: TASR)

Some €8.3 million has been saved so far for state coffers in value-added tax (VAT) in the so-called Čičikov case, Financial Directorate president František Imrecze told journalists on April 29 when reporting on activities of the tax enforcement unit called Tax Cobra.

“In terms of the total registered damage, the Čičikov case is the second biggest VAT case in the history of independent Slovakia,” said Imrecze as cited by the TASR newswire.

The aggregate damage is €76 million and the case is a continuation of the so-called Kameň case that was revealed back in 2012.

In the Čičikov case an organised group coordinated its activities in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia. They drew unjustifiably high VAT deductions and reduced their own tax duty.

“They carried out completely or partly fictitious operations and were issuing fictitious documents ... involving tiles and monuments,” said Imrecze, adding that the Financial Directorate started its activities in the case already in 2010 which lasted until 2013.

Within the activities coordinated by Tax Cobra, 133 tax audits were carried out and 182 auditors from four tax offices – Bratislava, Nitra, Trnava and Trenčín – were involved. The Slovak Tax Administration also carried out multilateral controls with the Czech Republic, which means that tax audits were carried out at the same time in the Czech Republic and Slovakia while they focused on taxation years 2010 and 2012.

The findings in the Čičikov case amounted to €23.7 million. Of this, €8.3 million has not been paid out, meaning that this sum has been saved for the state.

“Total findings in the Čičikov and Kameň cases reach €76 million,” said Imrecze.

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