17 February 2014 18:14

Those who do not comply with their tax obligations could soon see their assets seized and sold by the Department of Inland Revenue and the Department of Customs and VAT.
According to sources, a draft bill denoting the above was submitted to the Legal Services, which is based on the provisions of the bailout memorandum regarding the strengthening of the powers of the tax authorities in an effort to recover debts.

Finance Ministry sources say the whole thing seems to be troubling both the Legal Service and the two tax departments, because of the obstacles that arise through other legislation or procedures that must be overcome.
For instance a question that arises is whether the state could confiscate an asset before the bank, in the case that the asset being seized has already been mortgaged.
The same sources have not ruled out the possibility that the measures will be eventually applied only in the case of VAT debts, while another approach may be found for other tax liabilities.
The Department of Customs and VAT currently has the right to confiscate and dispose of movable property worth three times the amount of VAT owed to the state.
Another measure contained in the memorandum regards the allocation of power to freeze or prohibit the use of assets, until all debts to the two government departments have been paid off.  
Sources say that this measure is also under discussion by the Legal Services and could possibly be used as an alternative, if the confiscation and sale of assets can not be achieved.


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