The leading institutions in the fight against tax evasion
The leading institutions in the fight against tax evasion it is difficult to determine the level of tax evasion in our country. Still, the state institutions have the most significant responsibility for perpetuating this phenomenon, and in no case should they neglect their duties towards this issue.
1. Tax Administration
In Albania, the leading institution in the fight against tax evasion is the Albanian tax administration, which plays a vital role in gathering information about individuals and firms subject to taxation. The tax administration has extensive knowledge and access to the financial data of individuals and businesses. Therefore, they have the competence to investigate and prosecute tax violations, in our case, tax evasion. The tax administration has the mission of collecting all taxes and duties and, therefore, must guarantee that all taxpayers apply the legislation in force.
Part of the tax administration are:
General Directorate of Taxes
Regional tax directorates
Local government tax units
2. Customs Administration
The Customs Administration plays a vital role in preventing customs-related offenses and prohibited flows of goods and money. The customs administration performs its functions by the customs legislation approved by the parliament. Customs is the gateway to interests, individuals, the capital of a country. Our country is an importer of foreign goods, and strict customs control is needed as the possibility of tax evasion is very high. Article 174 of the Criminal Code states that: Import, export or transit of goods, through customs clearance, complete or partial concealment, incorrect declaration of customs clearance, false statement of nature, type, quality, price, destination, and goods or other forms aimed at evading customs duties is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to five years.
For this reason, the customs administration has significant responsibilities as everything starts from there.
One of the other bodies dealing with tax violations and fraud is the police, which has a crucial role in enforcing criminal law. In Albania, the police are considered a structure responsible for investigating financial crime. In cases where tax authorities detect economic crime, other procedures are followed. Still, when the police catch suspected suspects who have documents proving concealment of income or undeclared money, they have the right to make arrests and initiate criminal proceedings against them. In recent years, the police have given priority to tracking and investigating criminal offenses of an economic nature.
4. Procurement and joint investigative units
The procurement represents the state and society in criminal matters. In criminal offenses of economic crime, the prosecution’s activity is intertwined with other organizations’ movement. As tax evasion is a phenomenon that affects the state’s interests, the tax administration must exchange information with the prosecution so that investigations can continue. The necessary evidence can be obtained for the progress of the judicial process.
5. Financial intelligence unit
One aspect of financial intelligence plays a vital role in the fight against economic crime. To prevent economic fraud, this unit cooperates with all state bodies obliged to provide the necessary information if there are suspicions of financial corruption and fraud.
6. Accounting expert (auditor)
The auditor has a legal obligation to verify tax documents, tax returns, and reports. These reports must comply with tax legislation and reflect the actual financial outcome of individuals and legal entities.