A letter that could have changed the course of the Taxgate Commission might not amount to anything, now that the anonymous writer has let a deadline pass for revealing his or her identity or providing evidence that will back up the letter's claims.
The Taxgate Commission received the letter in September, which was subsequently leaked to the press by one of its 19 lay representatives – the commission reported the leak to the police for a breach of confidentiality.
The anonymous writer claims to have evidence that opposition party Venstre conspired to influence the tax audit of PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) and her husband Stephen Kinnock.
The tax agency Skat decided to audit the PM's personal tax situation after the tabloid BT raised doubts about Kinnock's tax liability in 2010, but Kinnock was ultimately found to be not liable for Danish taxes.
Leaks and freedom of information requests have revealed, however, a pattern of suspicious behaviour by the Venstre-controlled Tax Ministry while Skat conducted the audit.
Chief among them is the decision by the Tax Ministry’s permanent secretary, Peter Loft, to hand the head of Skat Copenhagen Erling Andersen a memo that concludes that Thorning-Schmidt and Kinnock owe taxes.
But who wrote the memo? The tabloid BT claims it wrote it and handed it to Venstre officials, who passed it up the chain of command.
But the author of the anonymous letter claims that the memo was actually written by his lawyer’s firm at the request of Venstre.
The writer claims to have email correspondence with Venstre that confirms his allegation, as well as documents from the Tax Ministry.
This would mean that Venstre tried to use Thorning-Schmidt's tax situation to undermine her credibility before the 2011 election.
According to Roger Buch, the head of research at the Danish School of Media and Journalism, if the allegations are proven to be true, Venstre would find itself at the centre of the largest Danish scandal of the 21st century.
“If the content of the letter is true, it will fundamentally undermine the narrative that has been forged by different witnesses,” Buch told Berlingske newspaper.
Forty-four witnesses have so far been called to the Taxgate hearings and so far Venstre leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen and the former tax ministers, Troels Lund Poulsen and Peter Christensen, have denied that Venstre tried to interfere with Kinnock’s tax case.
The head of the Taxgate Commission, Lars E Andersen, says that no-one has come forward to claim responsibility for the letter and the Taxgate Commission witnesses will now be granted access to its contents.