A statement published on the Finance Portal said that on 12 December, in Aveiro, Águeda and Ílhavo, 11 home and non-home searches were carried out for suspected tax fraud.
The investigation is focused on three car showrooms, two in Aveiro and one in Águeda, owned by companies that use “ghost” companies to purchase used vehicles in the EU, so as not to pay the VAT due, defrauding the Portuguese State of more than €8 million, an activity that has been carried out since 2015.
“In the investigation, which began in 2018, it was found that these car dealers have avoided paying the VAT due on these operations, fictitiously converting the applicable VAT regime, from the general regime, taxed at 23 percent on the sale value, to the so-called ‘margin regime’ in which VAT is levied only on the marketing profit, thus drastically reducing the amounts of VAT to be paid to the State”.
The operation involved 45 tax inspectors and around 40 police and seized accounting documents, registrations, legalization documentation and computer files, in addition to the 107 luxury vehicles.