João Galamba
Infrastructures minister João Galamba. Image: António Pedro Santos/ Lusa

Infrastructures minister tried to dodge €14,500 tax bill

Challenged bill in court of arbitration… and lost

Portugal’s minister for infrastructures, João Galamba, is reported today to have ‘tried to dodge a tax bill of more than €14,500’.

The story relates to the capital gain on a house which he sold for twice the amount he paid just six months before.

According to TVI, his attempt to escape the tax came in the claim that he invested the money in a property in which he was living permanently. Yet the property was not his address for tax purposes. Hence the request to he pay up.

All this goes back well over a decade. According to TVI, he sold the house in 2007. The tax department put in a request for the payment of unpaid capital gain in 2011; Mr Galamba appealed – and the arbitration process took six years to conclude.

Mr Galamba had reportedly produced a gas bill and a declaration from the local parish council as proof that he lived at the residence. But he lost … because in the sale deeds, it was stated that he lived at another address – and this other residence was the one registered with authorities as his fiscal address.

It’s just another in a long line of stories unearthed by national media suggesting the country’s leaders can have difficulties observing the laws they themselves uphold.

According to online Observador, “on top of the almost €15,000 that Mr Galamba had to pay out, he incurred a further €900 in (court) costs”.

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