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SRS: penalties should discourage others from committing crimes

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe penalties applied by the State Revenue Service should discourage others from committing crimes, says SRS Director General Ieva Jaunzeme.

When asked if she sees SRS as a repressive institution or a service institution, Jaunzeme said it’s a question about strategy. One direction is maximizing state budget revenue.

«However, the volume of revenue is not endless. But we’re discussing liquidation of different tax gaps to increase the revenue. The second direction is high-quality, fast and convenient customer service. The third direction is making application of legislative measures inescapable. This means SRS has a repressive side to it. Penalties should discourage others from committing crimes. The fourth direction is investing in our workers. We cannot sit and wait until people come to us. This is why training plays a major role as well,» said Jaunzeme.

When asked how she intends to ensure people’s awareness that punishment is inescapable, Jaunzeme said SRS has two offices whose objective is ensuring just that – Tax and Customs Police and the Tax Control Office.

«Ever since we’ve adopted risk-based control, there are parameters in accordance with which companies are selected and inspected. Effectiveness of inspections is already at 70% and this is a fairly high index. Every day we develop our database and increase efficiency. The inescapability of the long arms of the law depends on our speed and the quality of our audits. SRS also has the authority to impose collateral before an audit. It is no secret that often companies end up liquidated and personnel scattered before an audit is finished. We have put an end to this. Methods have changed and have brought with them better results,» explains Jaunzeme.

As for the police, SRS should explain investigation processes, because there are many topics that are not disclosed to society. The reason is because disclosure of certain information could put at risk the investigation, says Jaunzeme.

«The fact that investigations of groups that include dozens or more companies last for more than a year is objective. I would like to shorten this process. However, objectively speaking, we need time until all examinations have been completed and all evidence has been collected. The most important thing, of course, is investigation quality. Of course, if the court process lasts another five years, the inevitability of punishment becomes at risk. However, to do everything better and more quickly, we have to discuss things with police and court. There is a reason why the government declaration includes a point on strengthening investigative institutions, prosecutors’ offices and courts, especially in the field of finance and economic crimes. We have promised more active participation. When I took office I stressed that SRS is very interested in that,» said Jaunzeme.

On 5 February, Latvian Cabinet of Ministers approved Ieva Jaunzeme as the new head of SRS.


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