Tax authorities hunt for hidden billions / News / The Foreigner

Tax authorities hunt for hidden billions. Director sets up 100-strong team to trawl tax havens for 200 billion kroner. The days of being able to hide undeclared money in tax havens are coming to an end. Over 300 Norwegians are going to be receiving a visit from authorities in the not too distant future. Svein Kristensen, the Norwegian Tax Administration’s (Skatteetaten) Director, says there are about 330 unsolved cases at present.

tax, haven, norwegian, wealth, money, hidden, assets, switzerland, lichtenstein, luxembourg, norway



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Tax authorities hunt for hidden billions

Published on Thursday, 20th May, 2010 at 16:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Director sets up 100-strong team to trawl tax havens for 200 billion kroner.

Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands
Photo: ben.ramirez/Flickr


The “forgetful”

The days of being able to hide undeclared money in tax havens are coming to an end. Over 300 Norwegians are going to be receiving a visit from authorities in the not too distant future.

Svein Kristensen, the Norwegian Tax Administration’s (Skatteetaten) Director, says there are about 330 unsolved cases at present.

They estimate at least 200 billion kroner just in banked money is sitting under the financial sun in various places in the world, with the largest single undeclared sum running into hundreds of millions.

“Some have inherited, and have stored up money over a period of many years. Others have both worked and been paid abroad, but haven’t declared it,” he tells Dagens Næringsliv.

The number of hiding places is rapidly diminishing, however. Kristensen says Norway has, or soon will have, information-exchange agreements with tax havens in countries such as Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar, and Anguilla.

Svein Kristensen, Director
Svein Kristensen, Director
Norwegian Tax Administration
“Norway’s also about to join the EU’s Savings Directive. This means information about interest payments will be exchanged between us and EU countries. It also applies to territories that previously had legislation regarding secrecy,” he says.

The administration have now intensified their search for undeclared money, properties, shares, and securities, and set up an investigative team of 100.

The “repentant”

Not every Norwegian has “problems” remembering where their money is, though. Tax-reporting amnesty has been granted to 516 people and a total of two billion kroner has been disclosed, mostly from Switzerland and Luxembourg.

There are also some who have considerable assets in Lichtenstein. Many of these came to light after a former bank employee revealed details of wealthy foreigners, and the information was passed on by German authorities.

But Kristensen believes it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“We assume those who have disclosed hidden assets both want to clear things up, and have divulged everything. But there’s no guarantee they’ve done so.”



Published on Thursday, 20th May, 2010 at 16:06 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: tax, haven, norwegian, wealth, money, hidden, assets, switzerland, lichtenstein, luxembourg, norway.





  
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