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VILNIUS – Lithuania’s State Tax Inspectorate (VMI) launched a receipt lottery on Tuesday to tackle tax evasion and increase transparency of the country’s businesses.
VMI invited Lithuanian consumers to participate in the lottery by registering receipts for restaurants, haircuts, car repair services as well as goods bought at the country’s markets.
Initially, the receipt lottery will be held for one year. The winners of 10 weekly prizes of 200 euros and a monthly 5,000-euro prize will be announced on television each week.
According to tax officials, the initiative is aimed at curbing tax evasion by the country’s companies.
VMI says it wants society to become less tolerant of tax evasion.
“If everyone would start asking for a receipt, there would be way less shadow revenue,” Arturas Klerauskas, the deputy head of VMI, told business news website vz.lt.
According to a public survey, the receipt lottery could increase the number of receipts issued by 13 percent and lead to an increase of seven million euros (8.13 million U.S. dollars) in taxes collected from the country’s restaurants.
According to the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, shadow economy accounts for 26 percent of Lithuania’s gross domestic product (GDP).