The tax inspection of Minsk Partyzanski District has fined human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich BYR 4,727,330 for alleged understating of his income. The fine can be appealed in court within 10 days.
“It is curious that I saw the resolution before it was approved. They gave it me to sign together with the infringement notice, i.e. the decision was taken before the consideration of my case on the merits. And I mentioned this in the minutes,’ says Mr. Stefanovich.
During the sitting of the tax inspection’s commission, Valiantsin Stefanovich argued that the materials dealing with transactions by the SEB bank had not been translated in full; in particular, information on the purposes of transfers from the Netherlands office of Amnesty International were presented in English only. However, the objection was dismissed by deputy chair Mr. Koval.
“It is also very strange how he could establish that “I carelessly understated the entire amount of taxable income” well before I provided explanations concerning the case,” says the human rights defender.
Valiantsin Stefanovich says the money transferred to his bank account in Lithuania is not his personal income and therefore it is not liable to taxation.
“It turned out that I knew in advance how I was going to be punished. This is very convenient. The practice should be applied in the criminal cases, too,” says Mr. Stefanovich wryly.