Nine suspected in millions of sales tax fraud
The Financial Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) suspects nine people from eight different investigations of filing false sales tax declarations, the authority announced on Thursday. In addition, the investigators seized a large amount of the involved companies' accounting records for investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor's Office. FIOD believes that the subjects intentionally understated the monthly turnover of their companies to circumvent the value-added tax, or BTW. The suspected fraud amounts vary between 250,000 and one million euros, but the investigator released few specific details about the companies involved and the amounts attributed to each. Inspectors arrested the director of a real estate company from the Brabant region, and a tax consultant with a Flevoland call center. The owner of a bankrupt company in the Eindhoven region, an accountant and the owner of a transport company from Groene Hart, and the director and an accountant of a real estate company in Drenthe were all questioned. The authorities also searched business premises of an accountant, and a transportation company in Eindhoven. Starting in 2013, the tax authority intensified checks on underpaying the VAT. Since the beginning of the year, the investigators have checked the records of around 100,000 entrepreneurs and discovered approximately 210 million in underpaid tax. Entrepreneurs should report their VAT debt themselves and pay it to the tax authorities. Those who do not report their outstanding sales tax debt are penalized by the tax office. Underreporting the amount of sales tax due is equivalent to financing entrepreneurial activities with public money, the government said.