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Tax fraud uncovered

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, April 9
The Investigation agency of the Finance Ministry together with the Tax Revenue Service detained four people for illegally obtaining a minimum income tax-exemptions, while criminal charges have been launched against five others.

According to the agency, the individuals involved were going to illegally obtain income tax-exemptions. More than 1,700 people were involved in the fraud. The Investigation Agency says that the financial damage is about half a million GEL caused by the criminal scheme in 2014.

The investigation revealed that the citizens registered an enterprise called Pro Machine with thousands of fictitious employees.

According to the Finance Ministry, the investigation is ongoing, as there might be others involved.

Head of the press service of the Revenue Office Khatia Moistsrapishvili warned businesses to refrain from committing such crimes, as they will be caught quickly.

The minimum income tax-exemption is a program launched in 2014 and annually returns tax money to tax -exempt people whose income in less than 6, 000 GEL annually. This is the last year of the program.

Expert in economic issues Irakli Lekvinadze thinks that shutting down the program was a good idea.

“It would be a more reasonable step if the government decreased the income tax, rather than spending GEL 180 million on such programs,” Lekvinadze said.