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Hundreds of Millions Hidden Offshore

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Hundreds of Millions Hidden Offshore

Money

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Almost one hundred people are suspects in the investigation of the Directorate of Tax Investigation in Iceland regarding offshore companies, RÚV reports. Forty-six major violations involving hundreds of millions of krónur in tax evasions have been sent to a prosecutor. A single case can involve millions to hundreds of millions of krónur.

Last year, the Directorate purchased information regarding the assets of Icelanders in tax havens for ISK 37 million (USD 327,000, EUR 304,000). Those included information on 500 companies with ties to Icelanders. The so-called Panama Papers, which were leaked to the media from the Panama law firm of Mossack Fonseca last spring, included the names of about 600 Icelandic companies.

Keeping assets in offshore companies is not illegal, but in some cases, verifying information regarding their tax payments can be impossible. Consequently, it has been revealed that huge tax evasions have resulted.

Altogether, 108 cases connected to the Panama Papers have been formally investigated, based on suspicion of tax violations. About ten house searches have been done in relation to the investigation, and more than a hundred people have been questioned.

Forty-six cases, believed to involve major violations of tax law, have been referred to a district prosecutor. Punishment for such violations can be up to six years in prison.

The Directorate may not reveal the names of the companies of individuals involved.

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