Santa becomes the latest to be caught out in tax fraud

15th December 2016

He may be the jolly fellow who gives gifts to kids at Christmas, but in Hungary one Santa failed to ‘give’ correctly – by which we mean pay his taxes. According to reports, the individual was caught out in a festive operation to crack down on those failing to invoice their seasonal gift-giving services.

A Santa trap

In a rather unusual move, the Santa in question was caught glove-handed by tax authorities posing as parents. As part of a Hungarian tradition, he was invited to an apartment in Budapest for singing, gift-giving and photographs at the beginning of December. However, while waiting in the lobby to receive payment, he received a shock in the form of tax inspector identity cards from the ‘parents’.

Having failed to produce an invoice, the individual was fined 200,000 forints – around €640 – however, in an interview, the Santa claimed it was a simple mistake: “I only do this once a year, so I didn’t think there would be any problem.”

One of the key lessons here is that it should never be assumed that you do or don’t have to pay particular taxes. Regardless of how minimal you feel the amount to be or if it’s a one-off, you are liable to pay the correct taxes. The failure to do so will result in a fine or even a criminal charge. It’s for this reason that it’s highly advisable to seek expert advice, regardless of your situation.

What contractors need to know

For a contractor working across borders, you might think you are operating within the law, but legislation can be amended and staying ahead of every possible change that could impact you from country to country is no easy task. By working with a team of specialists you can rest assured that the correct payments are being made in your chosen location, mitigating the potential headache and associated risks, leaving you to do what your best at.

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