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Tax fraud flood as new law nears

Number of people admitting tax evasion under special measures rises sharply as harsher penalties approach

THE NUMBER of people admitting tax evasion has risen sharply as the window for special measures begins to close.

Two thousand people declared tax evasion in September, according to the MP Yann Galut who is steering a law against tax fraud through parliament. The total since June has now risen to 4,000.

He said the situation had been accentuated by Swiss banks demanding that their clients make sure their affairs are legal.

The new law currently passing through parliament would seek to end the current lighter penalties for admitting tax fraud.

These are a 15% fine for ‘passive’ evasion (those who have not declared inheritance tax) and 30% fine for ‘active’ fraud (those who have voluntarily refused to declare income or possessions). Added to this is an annual fine of 1.5% on the amount of assets that were hidden (for passive fraud) and 3% for active fraud.

However, these terms will come to an end once a new law on tax fraud comes into force and a final vote is due next Tuesday.

“You still have a few weeks before the law comes into force, get your affairs in order,” said Mr Galut.

Once the law is in force, all those found guilty of tax evasion will pay a 40% penalty and a 5% fine for each year it took place.

At the end of September Europe 1 claimed that up to 10,000 files from those wishing to regularise their affairs were still waiting with government lawyers.

Mr Galut added that the government may wish to add a special extension of the lighter fines when dealing with the backlog; however, that was at its discretion.

Photo: © dinostock - Fotolia.com

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