April 10, 2021

Anti-fraud fight to raise money

Anti-fraud fight to raise money

"Raising" is the magic word in the formula of any government. Even the least given to spending think of increasing revenues to reduce debts or deficits. For that reason, when the crisis caused the tax collection to fall, a greater interest in the authorities was aroused to fight against fraud as an important measure to swell the state coffers.

The Head of the Area of ​​Particularized Analysis of Public Expenditure of the Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia, Bruno González Valdelièvre, believes that "obviously" the fight against fraud should be a priority measure to increase tax collection. However, he thinks that there is still a need to resolve certain questions so that the measures are as effective as possible. Thus, we must consider "what should be the priorities of the fight against tax fraud? or in which sectors and to which profiles of fraudsters has to be attacked with more resources? "

Of course, in recent years has advanced a lot. And it can be seen very clearly in the data on the antifraud actions that last Wednesday gave the director of the Tax Agency, Jesús Gascón. The evolution is evident. While in 2012, this type of measures managed to enter 11,157 million euros, in 2015 the historical record was already reached, the 15,664 million. And after it, the second highest amount registered is that of last year, the one that Gascón announced, more than 15,000 million. A quite high figure if one takes into account that for the Corporation Tax (the one destined to the companies), a little more than 23,000 million was collected in 2017 or for the whole of the special taxes (such as alcohol, tobacco or hydrocarbons) also little more than 20,000 million euros.

Limit: 2,500 euros

In short, the anti-fraud struggle has become a fiscal figure in itself. On November 19, 2012 came into force one of the measures that have most impacted in this regard, the limit of 2,500 euros in cash payment between companies or professionals. Thus, it is tried that the payers (especially in the retail trade) do not evade their fiscal responsibility with the VAT. If the Treasury detects that a taxpayer exceeds this limit, it will sanction it with 25% of the amount that has been transacted.

González Valdelièvre considers it "significant that a measure to combat tax fraud and money laundering is precisely the limit of 2,500 euros for cash payments". This measure also avoids paying large amounts of money to companies (friends of fraudsters) who reside in tax havens, which was often used to launder money.

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Tax amnesty

One could say that 2012 was the "Year Zero" of the anti-fraud struggle in the 21st century. That exercise was the famous fiscal amnesty promoted by the then Minister of Finance Cristóbal Montoro. The measure consisted of those who had not declared all their income, could avail themselves of this amnesty (exempted from sanctions) to regularize their situation with the Tax Agency.

The norm (to which more than 30,000 taxpayers were accepted according to the Ministry) served so that the black money that was hiding in tax havens returned to the coffers of the state, where it had to be from the beginning. The increase in the collection of 4.5 million euros from the fight against fraud between 2012 and 2015 shows that, in fact, it was possible to "repatriate" large amounts of money that had been evaded.

This is how fraud is detected today

The step of fraud with cash that takes place in the virtual world, means that the ways to detect it have also been modified. As fraudsters are able to duplicate data to bypass the different security filters (such as passwords, numbering or verified SMS), experts have developed a new way to detect the increasingly frequent phishing for fraudulent purposes . And innovative methods are based on user behavior. The director of the Master in Behavior & Law Fraud Management, Jorge Jiménez, explains that "what is done above all is to try to identify what is called biometrics or behavioral trace. You can "hack" the username or password, but what can never be faked will be the attitude, the specific hours to which it connects to your account, how long you are usually in it, what type of purchases you make, including the way you type in your mobile ». And if the future of fraud is "hacking," that of detection is behavior.


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