Auto dealers accuse tax authorities of threatening to use bike gang members to get their cut
Auto companies have accused tax authority Skat of employing intimidation techniques during inspection visits to 46 different car dealers over a two-week period.
According to BT, one dealer said a Skat employee threatened to send biker gang members to assist the authority in finding a ‘solution’ to a fiscal dispute with the dealership.
Business advocate AutoBranchen Danmark represented the dealers at a meeting with Skat officials. They would not reveal which dealers specifically felt like they had been strong-armed by the taxman – out of fear of reprisals.
Dealers fear reprisals
While not acknowledging that the threats had actually happened, Skat spokesperson Erling Andersen said he had tried unsuccessfully to find the dealer who made the accusation, saying that if a dealer did feel they had been threatened in such a way, he wanted to get to the bottom of it.
“With regard to the specific allegation that one of my employees threatened to use [biker] gangs, I simply refuse to believe that an employee would have seriously said such a thing,” Andersen told TV2 News.
Andersen did admit that auto dealers have on one than more occasion complained to his office that they often felt pressured and threatened by assessors.
Jens Brendstrup, the managing director of AutoBranchen Danmark, said that more then one dealership had been threatened with a visit from gang members.
“You were told that if a solution could not be reached, you could expect a visit,” Brendstrup told TV2 News. “Specific dealers do not want to come forward for fear of reprisals.”
Unclear rules at the heart of the problem
Brendtrup said the problems stem from unclear regulations about how car dealers should calculate and pay taxes.
“Skat has told us that they cannot advise us because the rules are unclear,” said Brendstrup. “If they can’t instruct us, how can they regulate us?”
Skat has launched an external investigation of its conduct during the inspections of the 46 auto dealerships in 2014.
“That is a good idea,” said Brendstrup. “We hope that the problems can be solved and that we can establish a transparent set of rules that everyone can live with and allows everyone to pay their fair share.”