Danes in debt to the state to the tune of 116.1 billion kroner

Stephen Gadd
December 13th, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

More and more people are having trouble making ends meet when it comes to paying their bills, and some seem to be defaulting on purpose

Bad payers and the difficulty of clawing back the bad debts are causing headaches for a number of municipally-owned companies (photo: BioDane Luftfoto)

New figures from the Gældsstyrelsen debt authority, one of the new subsidiaries of the SKAT tax system, reveal that the amount owed to the state by private individuals and companies has increased by 7.5 billion kroner over the last six months. The total in July 2018 was 116.1 billion kroner.

The problem seems to lie with the automatic system for chasing up debts run by the debt authority.

READ ALSO: Tax authority can forget about outstanding billions

According to current legislation, publicly-owned companies such as utility companies are legally obliged to leave debt-collecting to Gældsstyrelsen, but problems with the system have made it less effective than when municipalities themselves used to chase up the missing amounts.

A total washout
According to Line Hollesen from the water company Klar Forsyning – which supplies water to 150,000 people in Køge, Greve, Solrød and Stevns and handles their wastewater – customers feel no pressure to pay up because there are no consequences for not doing so, reports DR Nyheder.

“When we have bad payers and outstanding amounts, in the long run it will end up hitting those people who actually do pay their bills,” she added.

She went on to say that there seemed to be customers who deliberately didn’t pay up, calculating that they would get away with it.

“It’s the same people again and again who don’t pay their wastewater bills. They pay for their drinking water, but not their wastewater,” added Holleson.

On the case
Lars Nordahl, the head of Gældsstyrelsen, admits there is a problem.

“We are really working hard to chase up current debts at the same time as settling older claims. Even though we are not yet where we want to be, we are still getting some of the money in,” he added.

Nordahl is optimistic that in time the money will come in. According to the authority, 635 million kroner was recovered between July 2017 and June 2018.


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