It is nearly a year since the publication of the “Panama Papers”, the vast large-scale leak of documents which included some 732 Belgians. Le Soir is reporting today (Wednesday) that the Belgian Special Tax Inspectorate (the ISI) has only recovered around €175,000.
Of the companies owned by the said 732 Belgians, per the analysis of the “Panama Papers” tax documents by De Tijd, Knack, Mo and Le Soir, the ISI has retained 202 cases for a “thorough inspection.” These files have only enabled a modest tax recovery of €175,000 to date.
Francis Adyns, the spokesman for the SPF Finances explained, “The ISI has not had access to files and original data for these Panama Papers, despite our making demands to the Consortium of Investigative Journalism. As a consequence, it has not been possible for us to check the quality and the reliability of data published.”
Indeed, some 115 million documents, which the investigation by journalists relied upon, were not made public in particular for reasons linked to individuals’ privacy.
Adyns went on, “Some individuals cited were already known to the tax authorities and their situation requires an in-depth examination.” He also flagged up the lack of cooperation by taxpayers and the absence of international exchanges, which is making the work on this case complex.