SYRIZA MP under fire for tax evasion

Alexis Mitropoulos confirms that tax authorities fined him for not properly declaring his share of a $1 million legal fee but he claims the fine is “illegal” and is contesting the case.
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Wednesday 16 October 2013
According to documents which were first made public by ThePressProject, Greece’s financial and economic crimes unit SDOE found that Alexis Mitropoulos, a high profile lawyer and member of parliament for Greece’s main opposition party SYRIZA since 2012, should be fined for not having properly declared  a $1 million legal fee.

When the development came to the media’s attention, Mr. Mitropoulos stated that he was being targeted by the government.

According to SDOE documents seen by TPP, Mr. Mitropoulos had been audited in two occasions, November 16 2012 and March 13 2013 - the case made the headlines on the latter date.

The fine was regarding a fee not declared back in 2009 whose existence came to light through a legal dispute: Colleagues of Mr Mitropoulos filed a civil suit against him for not sharing the fees of an inheritance case they jointly won in 1999, representing members of the Manios shipping family. Mr. Mitropoulos says that he was paid by his client in the U.S. The question remains which jurisdiction is applicable and even in the event of Greek jurisdiction prevailing, whether tax authorities statute of limitations applies.

He admits not having shared the fee with his colleagues and keeping it secret from Greek tax authorities. He claims that he brought part of the funds back to Greece in 2004, utilizing a deposits repatriation law and properly declared to the authorities in his tax return form of 2005. He claims that he was not audited within legal limits and that the only possible argument is whether he was taxed enough.

The case is pending before a new tax arbitration body introduced this year.

Mr. Mitropoulos is amongst SYRIZA’s most prominent MPs. In parallel to his high profile legal work, he has made a media career as a labour relations expert, defending workers’ and pensioners’ rights.
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