VAT frauds and concealed salaries are focalised

At a press conference on 4 February where the 2013 economic results of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board have been introduced, Director General Marek Helm told that both creation of employment register and innovations in value added tax control are ranked high this year to reduction of the black economy.

According to Helm, the year 2013 developed into a very intense working year when the Board performed its functions with the smaller staff hitherto existing but achieved in all areas much more than so far.

“But despite the fact that the results of the fiscal control have been improved, we need innovations in our work. Therefore, the employment register will be applied after the Riigikogu has approved it this year and we also hope that renovations for the ten years old VAT control system will be finally approved by the Riigikogu and the President”, said Helm.

Last year the Estonian Tax and Customs Board collected the tax revenue of about EUR 5.102 milliard which is 77 million or 1.5 per cent more than budgeted for 2013. The greatest revenue from taxation of legal persons income was about 40 per cent or EUR 92.6 million more than budgeted. Totally was received EUR 326.6 million which had been paid by about 50 000 undertakings.
From 19 187 new legal persons registered in the commercial register in 2013 about 26 percent paid taxes during the year, in the total amount of EUR 7 million.

99.49 per cent of the tax liabilities declared to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board has been paid in 2013. As compared with the year 2012, tax arrears for the current year have decreased by EUR 11.2 million.

According to the information known to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, there are 1452 members of the board in Estonia as at the beginning of January 2014 who have insidiously caused at least EUR 5,000 in tax arrears in three or more companies. Tax arrears of the companies related to these persons amount totally to EUR 97.07 million. This year the said group is under keen attention.

Last year the Board issued 238 bankruptcy cautions to persons who had altogether EUR 16.8 million in tax arrears and, as a result, EUR 2.1 million was received. 39 bankruptcy cautions were brought to the court in the case of which tax arrears amounted totally to EUR 12.1 million.

23 criminal cases related to tax offences were sent to the Prosecutor’s Office in 2013 where there 61 criminal episodes and 130 suspects had been involved all in all. The tax loss was estimated at EUR 37.3 million totally in these cases, the assets were seized in the amount of about EUR 4.8 million.
As to the contraband, last year 11.2 million smuggled cigarettes and 11,000 litres of absolute alcohol were detected all in all. Further, the customs officers of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board detected 185.4 kg narcotic drugs, 6,000 kg of precursor APAAN, used for manufacturing of drugs, 115 litres of precursor for GHB or so-called ‘date rape drug’ and 5208 Subutex pills containing narcotic substance.

The priority in the fight against the illicit traffic is continuously smuggled cigarettes that were seized, on the average, one million pieces per month last year. It is quite a pleasure for me to note that the share of smuggled cigarettes in the market is decreasing – according to the study of empty cigarette packets the share of non-Estonian cigarettes was 20.7 per cent last autumn, as compared with 25 per cent of the year 2012”, said Helm.

Source: Estonian Tax and Customs Board

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