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Fact-checking: Tax offices unaware they return money to 'freeloaders'


Belarus' Deputy Taxation Minister Sviatlana Shauchenka on Friday told reporters that tax authority offices had begun returning money to all those who paid a social parasitism tax last year and eventually found a job.

Euroradio called several district tax offices and found out that officials were unaware of the sitution!

Tax office - Minsk's Persamajski District: "This issues is yet to be developed. We do not have any orders of this kind yet."

Tax office - Minsk's Zavodski District: "Physical persons must file a statement and approach the administrative procedures department. I will not tell you what documents are required, because we have not received any official paperwork regarding this procedure."

Tax office - Vilejka district: "For you to have your money back, you need to meet certain conditions. For example, you must be employed. The problem is that we do not know how many days you are supposed to work in 2017 to be eligible for the money return. We are not returning yet. This is being planned for 2018. As of today, we have received no orders. The edict is still being revised. Hence, I am not prepared to tell you what and how we will be doing this."

Tax office - Barysau district: "We are not returning money at the moment, because we have received no new instructions. For now, one can approach the financial department of the local administration, collect a huge pile of various documents to be reviewed by the commission. If the executive committee relieves you of this tax, we will return the money. A new resolution is only being drafted by the Cabinet of Ministers."

Even the main inspection office of Taxation Ministry in Minsk have nothing to say about how many 'freeloaders' were able to return their money: "As of today, we do not have any statistics. [This information] was published on Friday. Tax offices did not work on Saturday and Sunday. I think we will gather statistics by the end of this week."

Halina Hurynovich, deputy head of Minsk City Tax Authority Office told Euroradio what has to be done in order to return the money: "If you paid the social parasitism tax and now you want to return it, you have be employed in the first place. Secondly, you had to work for more than 183 days in 2017. If you meet these two requirements, you need to report to your local tax authority office and file an application. It will be reviewed in the course of 30 days, after which the money will be returned."

The head of state suspended the 'social parasitism tax' on March 9. By that time, 51600 people had already paid the tax. The national budget has earned BYN 15.6 million ($7 million) from 'social parasites. More than 470 000 people received notices to pay the social parasitism tax.