Tax inspectors in the Balearics last year brought to light irregularities and frauds to the value of 49'621 million pesetas, 40 per cent of which (20'202 million pesetas) corresponded to a single operation. Commenting on the latter, the director general of the tax office, Ignacio Ruiz-Jarabo, pointed out yesterday that his department could not provide information about individual taxpayers. However, he did make it clear that this atypical and unique case of fraud was related to failure to fulfil basic fiscal obligations and not to drug trafficking or smuggling activities, as had been the case in previous years. Ruiz-Jarabo was accompanied by the office's new representative in the Balearics, Ignacio Fernández, at a press conference at which he announced the results of the fiscal year 2000, when 311'703 income tax returns were filed in the Balearics. He said that it had been a very good year for the tax man, adding that nation-wide, 17.15 billion pesetas had been collected in taxes, eight per cent more than 1999. This means that the Spanish taxpayer is fulfilling his tax obligations more and more. Failure to comply accounted for 1.4 billion pesetas nation-wide, including 49'621 million pesetas in the Balearics. This was 34 per cent more than the fraud discovered in the Balearics in 1999. Ordinary tax inspections detected irregularities for a total of 17'766 million pesetas (4.8 per cent more than 1999); customs control detected 4'443 million (45 per cent less) and management control detected 7'209 million pesetas which had not been declared (15 per cent more). The tax office also recovered 7'727 million pesetas in tax debts, six per cent more than during 1999. Ruiz Jarabo also commented on his department's efforts to advise and help taxpayers complete their final tax returns. Last year, it helped in the preparation of 67'791 declarations by modules and 301'478 income tax returns, 35'023 of them through computerised methods. As to rebates, the new rapid repayment scheme for taxpayers who did not have to file a return (gross income of less than 3.5 million pesetas), 23'000 rebates were made in less than 30 days.