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Saturday 23.09.2017 | Name days: Vanda, Veneranda, Venija
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Ķekava deputy caught «optimizing taxes»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDeputy Mayor of Ķekava Igors Malinauskas tried to avoid paying taxes in Latvia by registering his car in Lithuania.

Deputy Mayor of Ķekava, Lithuianian Igors Malinovskis, has chosen Latvia as his permanent residents. He had married there 13 years ago. Later, he founded a company in Latvia. In 2005 he was elected to Ķekava council. Malinauskas remains in his elected post to this day. At the same time, he prefers to drive the car he owns. This car is registered in Lithuania. This fact has allowed him to save a lot of money. However, this ‘tax optimization’ scheme has most likely breached Latvian legislation, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

«Latvian residents do not have the right to drive vehicles that are permanently registered in another country,» – says Chairman of Road Traffic Safety Directorate Janis Golubevs.

It is stated in his last declaration that the deputy owns 11 other cars in addition to his Chrysler. Malinauskas does not say how many of them are registered in Lithuania. «If I am a deputy, does this many I am no longer human?» – asks Malinauskas.

Unlike in Latvia, when registering a car in Lithuania the owner pays less money for the procedure. In addition to that, the Ķekava deputy has managed to avoid paying road tax, because the excise on fuel already includes it in Lithuania. However, Malinauskis mostly travels to Latvia, and refuels there.

«There is no tax for first-time registration in Lithuania. There is also no annual tax in Lithuania. Finally, car owners in Lithuania do not have to undergo technical inspection as often in Lithuania,» – explains Vice-President of Auto Association Ingus Rūtiņš.

However, in order to limit the exploitation of registration of foreign cars in the country, the government had introduced a specific condition three years ago – it is not allowed to drive such cars in Latvia for longer than three months in a row.

It seems that the deputy in question has his own interpretation of the law. He does not believe he has breached any law. He also expresses his dissatisfaction that the tax for the car in Latvia has to be paid separately. «Many residents in Latvia are allowed to keep cars that are registered in another country if they work there. If they have the opportunity, they register it in another country. Right? Right! I have not violated the law. I am a law-abiding citizen!» – says Malinauskas. When told that his place as deputy is in Latvia, Malinauskas adds: ‘Why are you trying to remind me that I work here? Does that mean I have violated the law? I have not!’

The police nonetheless punished car owners in such cases. The police filed a total of 477 reports on such violations last year. Fines reach EUR 120.

The case of Ķekava deputy is not just about violating the law – it also points to the lack of ethics in politics. If he avoids paying state fees himself, how can such a politician encourage other people to be honest taxpayers? Head of Malinauskas’ party Andrejs Artjomovs had initially tried to appeal to his comrade’s honesty. Only after a long and tiresome persuasion did he agree to properly assess actions of Ķekava deputy: «We will talk to him and convince him to sort things out legally,» – he said.

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