Sunday, October 25, 2015

Albania Offers Rewards to Tax Fraud Spies

Albania is setting up a fund to reward citizens who report on fiscal evasion as part of the government campaign against the informal, cash economy.
Fatjona Mejdini
 Merchants protesting in front of Tirana Municipality after their goods were confiscated | Photo: LSA/Malton Dibra.
Albanians who report fiscal evasion in businesses can now seek a reward from the general taxation directorate as part of new measures to fight fraud.

Taxation officials covertly acting as customers will also be identifying businesses that do not generate the required cash register receipts.

Albania's council of ministers is setting up a fund of around 72,000 euros, which will be used for the rewards, and for the goods that tax officials buy in shops while checking up on receipts.
The finance ministry has yet to decide on the exact sums of money that citizens can claim in rewards if they hand in useful fiscal evasion information.

The initiatives are the latest result of the so-called "war against informality" campaign, which Edi Rama's government launched in September.

Rama said that within 300 days the government would take whatever steps it needed to end informality and fiscal evasion.

Small businesses have since become particularly subject to inspections. Fines, confiscations of goods and even arrests have followed in the wake of the campaign against fraud and fiscal evasion.

The government is taking action under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, to halt a fall in revenues.

However, data released by the Ministry of Finance suggests that in September the campaign has had limited results so far.

Statistics show that the overall fiscal revenue from taxes and customs for September 2015 was around 1.6 million euros less than in September 2014.


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