Danish tax commission begins interviews in major investigation

Danish tax commission begins interviews in major investigation
File photo: ERIK REFNER/Ritzau Scanpix
A commission assigned to investigate a 15-year period of controversies at Denmark's tax authority is set to begin the lengthy process of interviewing witnesses.

Up to 106 different people will be interviewed by the commission, officially named Undersøgelseskommissionen om Skat (Commission for Investigation of the Danish Tax Authority) which is set to be ongoing until December 19th this year.

The primary task of the commission is to uncover what went wrong with a scandal-hit and now scrapped system for tax collection known as EFI.

But the work of the investigative commission was in 2018 expanded to examine where responsibility lies for tax refunds which cost the state 12.7 billion kroner.

Former and current employees at the Ministry of Taxation and the Tax Authority, and the roles played by relevant ministers in the cases, will be scrutinised by the commission.

The first four people are scheduled to be interviewed by the commission on Tuesday.

Last of the scheduled interviewees is current tax minister Karsten Lauritzen, who is scheduled to provide statements in November and December. Former ministers for the area Troels Lund Poulsen, Peter Christensen, Thor Möger Pedersen, Holger K. Nielsen, Jonas Dahl, Morten Østergaard and Benny Engelbrecht will also speak to the commission.

The tax commission was established in July 2017 after a series of scandals, and has since criticised both the Ministry of Taxation and the Tax Authority for causing delays to its work.

In its criticism, the commission cited difficulty in securing requested documentation from the ministry and tax authority.

In December last year, the Ministry of Taxation submitted 576 ringbinders of documentation to the commission, which is now reported to have been submitted a total of 2,559 such files.

READ ALSO: After years of scandals, here's how Denmark's reformed tax authority will look

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