Anti-Corruption Editors' Picks

Albania/ Tax scandal:VAT refund data amounting to ALL 220 billion disappear. Arrests in the wind

The General Directorate of Taxation intentionally does not have a register for company claims and VAT refund. Suspicions about the repetition of budget stealing scheme through the reimbursement of ghost companies.

The GeneralDirectorateofTaxation does not have a register for the claims of companies for VAT refunds. The refund value is over ALL 220 billion, which does not appear in a register, with the claims and the respective companies according to the law. The great scandal was uncovered by the State Supreme Audit.

According to the State Supreme Audit, “The Directorate of VAT Refund contrary to paragraph4 of article 125 of Regulation no. 19 dated 22.02.2017 “On the Functioning of the Central Tax Administration” does not have a standardized approved register with full data on the claims for refund registered at the GDT “. This violation creates opportunities for abuses with VAT refund, just as it happened years ago, when a ghost company was refunded, by stealing from the state budget millions of euros. In all likelihood, the prosecution will launch investigations and the responsible persons for this intentional abuse will most probably be arrested.

According the State Supreme Audit, In 2 cases of requests for information, 2 tables with different content regarding the number of cases treated, as well as errors regarding the identification data of taxpayers and the amounts, are made available. Likewise, the data of the tables do not correspond to the electronic register data generated by the C @ ts system. These discrepancies do not give the external auditor a reasonable assurance regarding the cases and the values handled by Directorate of VAT Refund. According to the data made available on 31.12.2017, there are 901 approved claims with the required amount of ALL 22,859,261,000, of which the refund amount is ALL 22,490,496,000 or 98.3% of the requestedamount, the compensation amount is presented at ALL 1,527,675 thousand, while the other part ALL 20,962 thousand represents the value of the VAT approved by the GeneralDirectorateofTaxation. According to the data of the accounting sector in GDT, the total amount of VAT refund during 2017 is ALL 13,773,715,000.

The State Supreme Audit has also found another phenomenon, related to VAT refund delays. This practice is done deliberately by the tax administration to force the beneficiary companies to pay money.

“If we refer to the GeneralDirectorateofTaxation electronic data generated by the C @ ts computer system processed by us we will notice that at least: From the audit it is ascertained that, according to the electronic data of the GeneralDirectorateofTaxation generated by the C @ ts  information system processed by us it is noticed that in at least 586 cases the refund deadlines were exceeded for a refund amount of ALL 11,171,334 thousand representing 65% of claims or about 50% of the total refund value for 2017, namely: In 30 cases the claims have received the first approval in the system from the inspector for the approval of the refunded amount but no other action has been taken to freeze the amount of the loan. Deadline violations are found in all these practices with over 100 days in 300 days of delay./Pamfleti

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