Over 10,000 Albanian businesses are set to be investigated for declaring lower wages than they actually pay, according to Delina Ibrahimaj, the country’s minister of finance.
A letter has been sent to every company believed to be not declaring the full amount. In Albania, a relatively common practice is to declare a lower sum on tax declarations (thus playing less tax and social security) and deposit it into the bank, while paying the rest of the salary in cash.
“The tax directorate will wait until 20 January for the reaction of businesses, else we will continue with in-depth checks and investigations,” the minister said.
“The plan will be extended throughout the year. Checks will begin in February, in February, we will make in-depth analysis from the office and in March, in-person checks.
The action comes ahead of the increase in the minimum wage from 30,000 ALL (EUR 240) to 32,000 (EUR 256).
It also comes three weeks after a database containing the personal data of every taxpayer in the country was leaked to the public and media. This data included name, employer, and salary and is believed to have come from the tax department.
Four people have been arrested in relation to the leak and are awaiting trial.