Property of "Will for Development" Is Arrested
In 2003 Slonim public association "Will for Development" worked on TACIS program and allegedly paid no taxes. In December 2003 Slonim Tax Inspection conducted an unscheduled check-up of the usage of financial means by the PA "Will for Development" and found that the means were used in accordance with the grant conditions.
On 12-16 March there was one more unscheduled check-up during which the inspection found alleged non-payment of taxes by the organization. As a result, on 16 March it arrested the organization property. On the same day Belarusian TV showed a broadcast about violation of the tax legislation by the head of the organization Mikhail Varanets and misuse of financial means.
"Fisrt national channel is the most weird in this situation. At 12 a.m. on 16 March I received the "Act" about the results of the check-up and left the building of the tax inspection. At 12.25 a man phoned me. "Mikhail Varanets?", -- he asked. "It's Belarusian TV. Do you have problems?". "We have no problems", -- I answered. He said: "We know that sanctions have been imposed on you. Let's meet". I repeated: "We have no problems. Something is wrong with inter-ministry connections" and stopped the talk. I thought that it was local KGB joking and couldn't even imagine that in 25 minutes Belarusian TV would not only know about everything but will have enough time to get to Slonim.
At 5 p.m. head of Slonim Tax Inspection Alena Misko phoned to Mr. Varanets and asked that it was necessary to take the organization's equipment to the building of the inspection on 16 March, not 17 March, as it was agreed before. The property was attached and exacted till 8.30 p.m. In an hour there was a broadcast from Slonim about it in the "Panarama" program.
Head of "Will for Development" has documents, signed by the executive director of the Coordinative Bureau of TACIS Leanid Arlow according to which the organization was exempt from taxation. However, according to Mr. Varanets, the local tax inspection received a letter from the Minister of Economics Zaychanka where it was stated that the organization was to pay the taxes.
It's worth mentioning that a criminal case for alleged non-payment of taxes on TACIS grant has been brought against the head of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Tatsiana Protska and its accountant Tatsiana Rudzevich.
Press service of the Assembly of NGOs