Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks: Malta has collected €106m in due tax – but more remains to be collected
The Commissioner for Inland Revenue, Marvin Gaerty, said that every person and company in Malta that had been revealed by the Panama Papers and Swiss Leaks are undergoing investigations and although tax of €100 million has been collected as a result of these investigations, the Department’s investigations are still ongoing because of the complexity of certain cases. He said all those revealed to have secret accounts in Panama and Switzerland are subject to investigation.
He confirmed the declaration made by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna in Parliament that in 2018 just over €100 million had been gathered in revenue up to that point as a result of investigations carried out. The Minister had stated that not all investigations have been concluded.
The Commissioner told TVM that the Department is carrying out its duties but investigations are not simple and not as simple as one may think.
He said investigations are no easy task although many feel that all the evidence is available as a result of the leaks. However, some date back a number of years, some going back 10 or 12 years and although this may sound easy and straightforward because of the information in the leaks, one would be surprised by the issues involved.
He said that although Malta has many tax treaties with a number of other countries for the exchange of information, there are still countries that despite international pressure continue to withhold information and refuse to cooperate in tax evasion investigations.
As it is estimated that the Maltese have billions of euro invested overseas, Commissioner Gaerty did not seem to favour incentives being given for these investments to be repatriated or be registered with the Department. He said he felt this would be unjust as these are investments by workers who pay their tax dues.
Gaerty said that past schemes, also used in other countries, had yielded certain results and enabled millions of euro to be paid in tax.
He pointed out the aim is not only that of collecting revenue and regulating the taxpayer but also that of bringing the taxpayer on board and compliant and thus continue to declare income.
The Inland Revenue Department annually collects €1,400 million from individuals and companies.