The General Finance Directorate has launched the next phase of the operation, which aims to expel companies from Prague that have only a paper office in the metropolis and are in fact doing business elsewhere. Officials began sending virtual office operators and asking them for detailed information about their clients.
Hundreds of companies are often based at such a mass address, but in reality no one is there. Companies choose the Prague address also because the tax authorities in the metropolis do not manage to check tax levies as often as in the regions.
“The aim is to send as many of these operators as possible so that proceedings for the delegation of local jurisdiction can be initiated against as many of the above-mentioned tax entities as possible,” said Petra Petlachová, a spokeswoman for the General Finance Directorate. Suggestions for proposals for individual transfers are given by the tax authorities, and the entire event is managed by the General Finance Directorate. The decision to move out is then up to the tax office of appeal.
The company’s office deprives it of business
However, according to lawyer Ondřej Lichnovský, this means that the operators of virtual offices in the capital are forced by state officials to cut a branch under themselves. “They will obtain information from them that is not so much related to the tax administration, and then use it to deprive the providers of this service of their clients and thus of their business,” the lawyer commented on the event.
A major virtual office operator, Office House, also received a letter from the tax authorities. However, they are not afraid of the fate of their business. “We see the current extensive activity of financial authorities as a way to separate serious providers from those who do not comply with all legal requirements,” said Office House spokesman Karel Pluhař.
Escape from control? OK
Companies from the regions often place their headquarters in Prague in order to, for example, look good in front of business partners from abroad. Equally often, the effort to escape tax audits, which officials in the metropolis do not have time for, does not play a role. However, according to the lawyer, there is nothing illegal in trying to move to the metropolis for control.
“Every tax audit is very burdensome for a given entity. You have to submit a lot of papers to the tax administrator, all at the expense of your own business, “the lawyer added.
The fact that the state can more severely punish those who do not cooperate with the authorities can also be punished against the operators of virtual offices. Whoever did not comply first will call the tax administrator, he could get a fine of up to 50 thousand crowns. But from this year on, it can get up to half a million, even repeatedly.