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Baltic Tax Authorities Increase Money Hunt

Tax authorities in the Baltic states have frozen 55.000 corporate bank accounts in the first two months of 2010.  Last year the tax authorities seized an average of 10.000 accounts per month.
“This is a new trend in the tax board. There was a notable change at the end of last year.”
Reet Rattur

The Baltic tax board has become notably more active in freezing bank accounts of tax debtors. While last year the board froze in average 10,000 bank accounts a month, it has now frozen 55,000 accounts in two months of 2010, Estonian newspaper Äripäev writes.
Businessman Jaanus Lauri who is board member of car dealer Revo Auto that is being liquidated says that tax board froze the company’s bank accounts several time.
“The problem is to free the account from the restrictions after you have paid the tax arrear. You have to be very active and call them, otherwise nothing happens. They seem to have plenty of time from releasing the bank account from restrictions,” Lauri tells the newspaper.
Valter Teppan, CEO and owner of Võidusõidutehnika, says that the tax board terminated the tax arrear payment schedule that it had agreed with the company and ordered the company to pay the full amount in ten days.
“They did not wait for 30 days that are given to dispute such claims and froze 480,000 kroons on our bank account although the debt was 116,000 kroons.”
Lawyer Reet Rattur says that more and more businessman are asking legal aid in such cases.
“This is a new trend in the tax board. There was a notable change at the end of last year,” Rattur says, adding that tax board is keen to freeze bank accounts even for smaller tax debts.