Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

‘Lagarde list’ names to be classified according to risk

Whistleblower Herve Falciani

The 88 individuals under scrutiny by the taxman after their names were found on a list of depositors at Switzerland’s HSBC bank – also known as the ‘Lagarde’ list – will be categorised based on degree of risk by the end of week, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Citing unidentified sources, CNA said decisions on whether any of the suspected tax-dodgers will be taken to court will be made next week.

On Tuesday, tax czar Yiannis Tsangaris had imposed tax on all 88 people listed, and all filed objections.

However, as some of the objections were deemed “blatantly unjustified”, the offenders may be taken to court if they still refuse to pay after their objection has been rejected.

Next week will also see the start of an investigation into the 116 companies included on the list.

Categorisation of the cases, for which all individuals who received tax-due notices have filed an objection, CNA reported, will be done on the basis of degree of risk, defined as the effect the tax receivable would have on state revenues.

If a case is judged low risk, meaning a low sum levied, then an in-depth investigation may not be required in contrast to a high-risk case, or a large-sum case, which will be thoroughly investigated to cut the risk of significant revenues going uncollected.

However, the cases are quite complicated and a lot of time is required to process them.

In all, the tax levied on all individuals named in the Lagarde list thus far totalled €38.4mln.

Meanwhile, with regard to the leaked Panama Papers, which refers to millions of documents from the internal database of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, two tax officials have been tasked with conducting a crude online search for any information in the documents linking to Cyprus.

However, it was noted, the team will be strengthened within the coming days.

In addition, the Tax Department will contact the Central Bank of Cyprus, as well as the finance ministry, in order to finalise the way in which the documents will be officially requested from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who are in possession of the data.

Tsangaris has already revealed that the person who leaked the Lagarde list, a French ex-bank technician at HSBC, Herve Falciani, has agreed to cooperate with Cypriot authorities and provide further information.

State TV quoted Falciani as telling Cypriot tax authorities that “you only have a third of the available information”.

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