20% of receipts submitted on the first receipt lottery day show tax-dodging

Already on the first day of the receipt lottery, the State Revenue Service (VID) noticed that the state is not receiving taxes from some receipts, reported LSM's Latvian service on July 2. Almost every fifth receipt submitted and checked receipt contributes nothing to the state. This number coincides with the expert estimate of the prevalence of shadow economy in the country. 

And that precisely is the real purposes of the lottery – to expose tax evaders and the millions that slip past the state treasury. 

Of the 90 submitted receipts which have been passed through a special filter, 20 show signs of tax-dodging.

The Director-General of VID Ieva Jaunzeme promised that, upon receiving invalid receipts, VID will go to the source of the receipt and control their activities.

“We can immediately compare the data we receive from the company with the submitted receipt,” said Jaunzeme.

“I hope the employers understand that socially active people are going to use the lottery both for the chance to win the prize and for the raising of morals. If we are talking about alarm-raising, there are two major categories. The so-called “envelope” wages and those who do not issue receipts,” admitted Jaunzeme.

Experts agree that the lottery is a way of exposing shadow economy.

“It's finally done! It could've been done five years ago, and it would've been even more positive,” said Arnis Sauka, a researcher at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. 

Sauka said that the issue of receipts bypassing the treasury is caused by a lack of control. The invalid receipts are used to deceive consumers.

“We've heard a lot about it in catering establishments. It turns out the problem is broader. Twenty from ninety... that's almost a fifth, which, according to our estimates, is the measure of shadow economy in Latvia,” noted Sauka.

The national economy will, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Finance, receive an impressive amount of money from the receipt lottery, or, more precisely, from the paid receipts.

“If it brought us around 3 million euros, that would be good. But it's more about changing the attitude. That we don't tolerate the act of hiding or not showing revenue. And it should start in kindergartens and schools,” noted Jana Salmiņa, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry. 

That is why even children may register the receipts.

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