Construction Sector Hit with €3.6 Million in Tax Claims Following Audits ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Tax and Customs Board has assessed the 258 construction companies flagged in a wave of audits from January to June over 3.6 million euros in additional taxes - 67 percent more than in the same half-year period in 2012.

There were a total of 1,105 inspections and audits regarding taxes paid on workers at 3,276 construction sites, reported.

Audit department director Kaido Lemendik said the average pay disbursed by the audited companies had grown over 14 percent compared with the previous period - a good sign. The Tax Board estimates that the share of the construction market that goes unreported is 23 percent, which is down from 27 percent at the start of the year.

"But it's not certain whether there is a clean house in the construction [sector], as the average payment shown in tax returns is still, in our view, too low, and does not reflect the actual remuneration paid to construction workers," Lemendik said.

The declared average pay was around 600 euros, the Tax Board said. But the average construction worker's wage in 2012 was 900 euros, according to the Institute of Economic Research.

Of the companies audited by the Tax Board, 60 percent were small companies with a turnover of up to 100,000 euros, the size considered the highest risk for tax evasion.