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STAFF REPORTER PALMA

TAX fraud in the Balearics nearly doubled last year, the Balearic branch of the Inland Revenue (Atib) confirmed yesterday.
Atib Director Maria Antonia Truyols said that 54.7 million euros due to the Revenue had remained unpaid in the Balearics in 2010, 42.5 percent more the outstanding debt registered in 2009. The fraud amounts to 12 percent of the money which is legally payable by the region to Central Government.

Truyols was speaking yesterday accompanied by regional Tax and Economy Minister, Carles Manera who claimed that despite the fraud, collection of tax in the Balearics had increased by 2.8 percent last year due to the hike in inheritance tax.

Truyols said that when Central Government had looked at the success of tax collection nationwide at the end of last year, the Balearics had been in an undisputed first place in terms of increase in the amount of tax successfully demanded and paid. Apparently all other regions of the country had returned “negative figures.” The Minister said that the regional government had a team of people working to track the “intricate games” that people play to mask income, including those of buying and selling of businesses.

Manera said that this “imbalance” will nevertheless not prevent him from predicting a 0.7 percent growth in the Balearic economy this year. The Minister said that there were clearly some elements of industry, particularly in tourism which were heading towards what he described as a healthy recovery.