The limousines fictitiously passed through hollow companies on fuses
The Ministry of the Interior, the Prosecutor’s Office and the National Revenue Agency have cracked down on one of the largest tax fraud schemes involving car imports, the three institutions announced at a briefing on Monday. In just one year, BGN 30 million worth of cars passed through it, and the damage to the budget was BGN 6 million from unpaid VAT.
Investigators were working on a tip. According to the scheme, luxury passenger cars were imported, as well as trucks, which were sold by large car dealerships, including through leasing, “24 Chasa” learned.
“Most of the cars were bought by foreign dealers. Here they are sold by real merchants with large business activities”, said Desislav Grigorov from the National Revenue Agency, who heads the department for investigating special cases in tax practice.
In order to avoid paying VAT, the big dealers who negotiated the cars from abroad use shell companies. They were bought on documents from them, and then resold to the big car dealerships. The hollow company declares to pay VAT on the transaction, but as usual in such cases, the National Revenue Agency cannot collect them. However, the actual downstream dealer charges this tax and deducts it when selling the car to the end user.
“The deduction of tax credit from real traders reduces their costs and damages the budget,” said Grigorov.
The operation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor’s Office and the National Narcotics Agency was carried out on Thursday in Sofia, Troyan, Kostinbrod, Burgas, Sofia and Varna.
“23 are the searches of various addresses with the permission of a judge and 7 more as a matter of urgency. 14 of the addresses are of accounting offices. Many documents, computers, a large number of electronic signatures were seized. Interrogations are underway in the case,” said the deputy. Chief Prosecutor Maria Pavlova. However, there are no accused yet. The goal of the investigators is to indict the real players, not the impersonators who were managers and owners of hollow companies.
“28 people have been questioned. In addition to tax crimes, there are also data on money laundering. Notes from notebooks, or the so-called black accounting of the scheme”, said the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zhivko Kotsev.
During the action, certain documents were seized in order not to interfere with the work of other clients of the accounting firms.
According to the director of GDBOP, Yavor Serafimov, it is important that the scheme has been suspended, and the National Revenue Agency will have the opportunity to seek unpaid VAT from the people who actually benefited from the “extra” through the hollow companies.