Cyprus Mail

Tax department processing companies linked to Panama Papers

Tax authorities are processing a list of Cypriot individuals and companies contained in recently leaked documents known as Panama Papers, it emerged on Wednesday.

Tax commissioner Yiannis Tsangaris said the tax department “has already started processing the data included in the Panama Papers list to determine whether tax or other criminal offences have been committed”.

Distributed by a group of investigative journalists, the Panama Papers disclosed how rich and powerful people, including heads of state and convicted financial criminals, use shell companies to avoid paying taxes.

Tsangaris on Wednesday met with outgoing House President Yiannakis Omirou.

Based on the briefing from the tax czar, Omirou said the department was also in the final stages of processing the so-called Lagarde List – a list of Cyprus-linked depositors at Switzerland’s HSBC bank.

French police obtained the list, nicknamed the Lagarde List after France’s former finance minister and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, from Hervé Falciani, an ex-technician at the bank in 2009.

Tsangaris has already revealed that Falciani has agreed to cooperate with Cypriot authorities and provide further information.

Authorities have so far gone through 88 names of individuals and imposed around €35mln in taxes.

So far no money has been collected because of the objections filed by the individuals.

Tax authorities were now going through 116 companies included in the Lagarde list.

“As Mr Tsangaris has assured me, it is in the final stages,” Omirou said.

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