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Ukraine's Fiscal Service to scrutinize e-declarations

People's deputies will be beyond the scope.

Ukraine's State Fiscal Service (SFS) intends to carry out a detailed analysis of the electronic declarations of income and assets filed by civil servants, the SFS head Roman Nasirov said in a TV interview with Sonya Koshkina on the Left Bank talk show.

"Under the law, the control over declarations is performed by the special anti-corruption special agency, which is in charge of the whole process. We [SFS], have volunteered to be a part of that, offered our assistance, because we have some experience [in the field]. It did not work out, however, so we have watched the process from the sidelines. Based on the results of the first quarter, when a larger number of people will file their declarations, we will launch an in-depth analysis. Because this is not just tax information for us. Those are that data that the declarant himself filed in and signed with his electronic signature," said Nasirov.

The findings of the analysis, he said, could be further conveyed to tax authorities or the prosecutor's office, and followed by criminal charges.

"Wherever we discover an apparent inconsistency we will initiate a review. The procedure for individuals is not that dissimilar from that for legal entities. We call the declarant asking to clarify some moments and provide documents. If the inconsistencies are unfounded, we draw up a formal act. The most severe measure ensues the conveyance of the case to the tax police or the prosecutor's office with a possible criminal case on the Article 212 of the Criminal Code [criminal liability for tax evasion]," said the head of SFS. This article, according to Nasirov, also concerns the legalization of proceeds from crime

At the same time, according to the head of fiscal service, his agency does not intend to check for the actual presence or absence of declared property and cash. The task of the SFS is to find out where the property or funds come from and whether taxes have been paid.

"We do not have to check the actual availability of the money. The declarant has stated that he owns millions: all we have to ask is where did it came from and whether taxes have been paid. We do not need to see the money. It maybe doesn't exist at all," argues Nasirov.

In this regard, he realizes that the declared data may be false. "There may be cases of both understatement or overstatement. We are not going to count the notes and see where they store the money - in a bank safe, at relatives' or stashed in the garden… We have the formal declaration document with an electronic signature, and that's quite enough."

The scrutiny, according to Nasirov, will cover a wide range of people, but not people's deputies, because the latter requires a decision of the Verkhovna Rada on the lifting of immunity.

"We do not pursue political goals to catch a 'big tasty fish'". All we want is to take a closer look and report to the public about inconsistencies and possible explanations. I think the first results will come as early as in the beginning of the next year," said the head of SFS.

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