Tax Inspection Decides to Exact 125 Million Rubles from Belarusian Union of Youth and Children’s Public Associations “Rada”
As a result of the check-up of Belarusian Union of Youth and Children’s Public Associations “Rada” Minsk Tsentralny Borough Tax Inspection ruled to exact from the organization the non-paid taxes, economical sanctions and a fine. The total sum is more than 125 million rubles, which is the record volume of financial sanctions against Belarusian NGOs.
The reasons for such huge fines were found by the vice-head of Minsk Tsentralny Borough Tax Inspection V. Miranovich and the tax inspector Ye. Pshanichnaya during the last year’s check-up of the organization. They concluded that in 2002 and 2003 “Rada” paid no taxes from the international technical aid, received from European commission on TACIS program and also in UNICEF program of the UN.
It’s worth mentioning that last year tax officials had such pretensions concerning TACIS programs to Belarusian Helsinki Committee and “Will for Development (Slonim). In that case all court instances confessed that the TACIS means were exempt from taxes and were used according to Belarusian legislation.
However, at the same time observers pointed out that such favorable decision was made only because otherwise TACIS threatened to stop all kinds of support to Belarus, including the financing of state organs and such projects as renewal of Belarusian border (more than 16 million euros has been already spent on it). The program of 2005 has been already approved and the plan of TACIS work in Belarus for the next years was also adopted. It looks as the tax officials decided to take hold of the money, issued to Belarusian NGOs, at any cost.
Another interesting moment is that recently “Rada” has changed its head to Sviatlana Karaliova who emphasizes the political aspect of its activity. The mentioned “violations” belong to the period when the head of the organization was Yanina Zinchanka. We should remind that Aliaksandr Lukashenka has called this organization a worn through umbrella that impeded the activity of the pro-governmental Belarusian National Youth Union.
So, TACIS-gate continues. A great number of public organizations legally receive financial aid from the organization and now tax officials can try to turn them into dangerous criminals.
Press service of Belarusian Assembly of NGOs