Minister Announces Steps to Combat Tax Fraud ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi yesterday announced three measures he plans to implement to combat tax fraud, which costs the state hundreds of millions of euros annually.

Speaking at a government press conference on Thursday, Ligi said tax fraud is a topic that is receiving greater emphasis than ever.

One measure is a new system would notify the Tax Board of any bank transfers exceeding 1,000 euros and allow a quick risk analysis of the two parties involved. The idea is specifically geared toward tackling VAT fraud, which is estimated at 222 million euros each year.

Another step is to push back the state's deadline for checking tax returns. Currently the state can withhold VAT returns for 30 days before starting to pay interest. If the new measure is introduced, the state would have a full 60 days to review the documents before forking out interest.

The government will also standardize the tax on precious metals, which would net the state eight million euros per year.

Ligi did not say when the measures would come into effect.