Last year the tax authorities in Belgium received 1,958 reports from members of the public alleging tax evasion by another member of the public.
Among the most common type of such denunciation to the authorities: the ex. Whether an ex-partner, ex-wife or ex-husband, or a former employer or employee.
“From people who think another person have income they haven’t declared,” explained Francis Adyns, spokesperson for the federal finance ministry, home to the tax authorities.
The ministry doesn’t operate any sort of tip-line, he stressed. But allegations made are always checked and double-checked. Sometimes the information is vague: “They’re driving around in two smart cars,” he said, as an example. “In other cases they’ve compiled a whole dossier. A lot of complaints are motivated by resentment.”
All in all, though, the phenomenon of a denunciation of an alleged tax-dodger to the authorities is a rare phenomenon, and becoming rarer. “In comparison to the seven million taxpayers and 350,000 companies, individual reports don’t count for much. Our operations don’t exactly stand or fall by that.”
Meanwhile the figures are going down year by year. Compared to 1,958 in 2019, there were 2,208 in 2018, 2,634 in 2017 and 2,800 in 2015.
The Brussels Times