Tax authority can forget about outstanding billions

PwC estimates that some 80 billion kroner will probably never be recovered

According to a new report compiled by the auditor firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Tax Ministry, the Danish state can most probably wave goodbye to billions of kroner owed by citizens.

The report evaluated that of the 100 billion kroner the Danes owe the state in taxes, parking fines, speeding tickets, VAT and DR licence fees, the vast majority (about 80 billion kroner) will never been recouped.

“It’s not viable to say there is 100 billion out there and that we can get it in our coffers to use on welfare,” Karsten Lauritzen, the tax minister, told Politiken newspaper.

READ MORE: Danes owe the state over 90 billion kroner on unpaid tax and fines

Time to write it off
It seems the EU and state auditor concur with that assessment because they’ve both asked the Tax Ministry to change the government’s accounts to reflect that the 100 billion kroner will not be obtained.

As such, Lauritzen said he would ensure that the accounts would reflect a more realistic amount.

Public debt has grown steadily since the government axed the failed IT system, EFI. Between the second and third quarter last year alone, public debt increased by 3.6 billion kroner.

Damm-ing words
Martin Damm, the mayor of Kalundborg, was quick to blame the beleaguered tax authority SKAT – which already faces intense scrutiny and criticism for the missing 12 billion kroner case – for the problems.

“It certainly isn’t us [the municipalities] that have messed up,” Damm told Politiken.

“The state tax authority has. It has taken over the responsibilities from the municipalities and consequently ended up driving the entire recovery process into the ground.”