Record number of Belgians tip off authorities about suspected tax evaders

Record number of Belgians tip off authorities about suspected tax evaders
Credit: Belga

A record number of people in Belgium have tipped off the tax authorities about others who they suspect are evading their taxes in the past year, according to figures by Federal Finance Minister Vincent Van Peteghem.

The General Administration of Taxation received 2,995 complaints, while the Special Tax Inspectorate (BBI), which investigates larger tax frauds, received 340 anonymous reports and 193 reports by name.

In 2019, the General Tax Administration only received 1,958 complaints, while the BBI received 179 anonymous reports and 103 reports by name, according to figures requested by MP Steven Matheï, reports De Tijd.

The reasons why people report suspected tax evaders vary, but in many cases, it seems to be a matter of resentment or revenge, according to Francis Adyns, spokesman for the Finance Ministry.

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There is rarely a motive, he told the Belga news agency, adding that the tax authorities certainly are certainly not encouraging people to do it.

Of the 2,995 complaints received by the General Administration of Taxation, 544 files were forwarded to the control services, according to Adyns.

The BBI forwarded 134 anonymous reports for further investigation, 64 were dealt with internally. Of the 193 reports with a name, 64 were filed without further action.

Despite the record figures, however, "it remains a marginal phenomenon," according to Adyns: "a few thousand reports out of 7.1 million personal income tax returns alone."

The Brussels Times

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