Surveillance reveals 8.7 million euros in revenue in the taxi industry

“The most common tax evasion was not recording a cash payment in the accounting or, for example, not recording all trips made during a certain month. The taxi meter can also be misused on purpose so that the sales recorded in the accounting are lower than the real ones.” said Jarmo Lahdenperäsenior adviser at the Tax Administration.

During the control campaign, the tax authorities conducted a total of 250 tax audits, of which almost a third led to a follow-up investigation to find out whether a criminal report should be filed.

The authorities also investigated the veracity of the income and value added tax declarations of operators in the taxi industry and offered advice and guidance to accounting firms offering services in the sector.

– Fierce supervision was aimed at taxi companies that, according to our analysis, had a risk of abuse. Therefore, it is not surprising that fraudulent and possibly criminal activity was detected,” said Lahdenperä.

“However, most taxi company owners operate according to the rules.”

Authorities also found cases where taxi drivers were paid illegally while collecting unemployment or social security benefits. According to Lahdenperä, the earnings of such drivers usually consist of a low official salary, hidden salary and benefits obtained fraudulently.

“In such suspected abuses, the Tax Administration has the statutory right to notify the payer of the benefit [of the wrongdoing]and so it did.”

renewed the regulations regarding the taxi industry in 2018, which paved the way for numerous new players in the industry. The surveillance campaign stated that operators who use ride-hailing applications available worldwide often do not know that they themselves must report their income from taxi operations to the Tax Administration.

“Many mistakenly believe that the company that maintains the global platform reports all the income of the taxi operators to the tax authorities of the right country. This is not the case,” Lahdenperä said.

The Tax Administration forwarded two change proposals to enhance the control of the taxi industry.

The maximum penalty for unauthorized taxi traffic should be increased by at least a day to six months and one day, so that the administration can report such activity to the relevant authorities. The administration can only report violations that result in a maximum penalty of more than six months.

Changes are also needed so that the information of all taxi meters is available to all supervisory authorities.

“If only the supervision of the taxi industry is brought into the digital age, the Tax Administration would get reliable, comprehensive and sufficiently high-quality information from taxi meters to support tax supervision. At the same time, we could focus the monitoring specifically on the cases that require it, he stated.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page





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