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Distraint on wages, deposits and bank safes without notice

14 December 2013 / 20:12:12  GRReporter
3992 reads

Distrainment on taxpayers without notice, precautionary distraint before the expiry date of payment of taxes and without a prosecutor's decision, and an inventory of jewellery, works of art and other assets held in bank safes are some of the measures through which the Ministry of Finance intends to increase the revenue.

The bill on the property tax drawn up by the Ministry of Finance includes a number of provisions introducing radical changes in the code for the collection of state revenues. These provisions enforce precautions like distraint in order to ensure revenue collection mainly in the cases of high tax evasion or in which the tax authorities have evidence that the taxpayer, despite having the opportunity of paying his taxes, has preferred to fail to pay them on time.

In particular, Article 48 provides that "it is not required to announce the notice of seizure in the cases of distraint on funds or assets belonging to the taxpayer or to a third party." This means that if, for example, the case is about distraint on deposits or rent overdue by the taxpayer, he will be the last to be aware of this, as the bill does not provide for prior notice.

There are CHANGES in the period within which the taxpayers can settle their tax liabilities before the measures for the collection of duties are enforced.

Until recently, the competent institution of the tax administration had to send the taxpayer in arrears individual notice and then subsequently to resort to compulsory measures, but at least 30 days after the notification. Henceforth, the 30-day period will not apply.

The relative safety of the property kept in bank safes will change as well.

The same article introduces distraint on bank safes. "When the tax authority establishes tax evasion, amounting to over 150,000 euro, or if the value of the transactions of the tax assets exceeds the total amount of 300,000 euro, then, on the basis of a special audit report, the authorities are allowed to trigger against the offender direct and urgent measures that will prevent or safeguard the public interest. In particular, the tax administration is not obliged to receive and issue the documents necessary for the transfer of property assets, involving 50% of the deposit accounts and the entire contents of the bank safe of the offender, including the entire noncash content of the safe."

WITHOUT A COURT DECISION. Paragraph 9 in the same article opens the way for confiscation of movable and immovable assets even before the expiry of the deadline for the payment of the tax and without a court decision.
 
It states the following: "In order to ensure the collection of taxes, the tax administration may resort, in urgent cases or in order to prevent an imminent danger to the collection of taxes, to Article 45 of the Code before the date of the debt maturity and without a court order, and levy distraint on the debtor's securities, property, property rights and, in general, on all assets belonging to him or to a third party. The distraint automatically becomes compulsory upon expiration of the statutory period for the payment of the debt and the option of seizure comes into force from the date of the registration of the distraint."

These provisions are giving rise to a series of questions, for example, regarding the criteria that will determine the risk of non-payment of obligations by taxpayers, although the payment deadline has not expired.

THE SURPRISES in the tax law do not end here, since it introduces a number of amendments to the existing provisions which result in the following significant changes:

- Prescription - notifying the taxpayer about the individual notice and about all compulsory actions interrupts the period of prescription.

- Sanctions against those responsible - the competent authorities of the tax administration will face disciplinary penalties if they have not taken measures to enforce the collection of the debt within five years from the end of the year in which it becomes overdue.

- Detection of errors within a five-year period - the tax administration can draw up a statement, estimated within five years after the end of the year of the deadline for the filing of the return. This means that if the tax administration has made a mistake, it can correct it within five years from the date of filing the return.

Tags: BillDistraintDepositsBank safesTaxes
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