Last week, the Spanish Tax Agency launched a national macro-operation against tax fraud in the country's fruit and vegetable wholesale markets. 75 stores located in central markets of 13 autonomous regions have been inspected.
As reported by the Agency in a statement, inspections have been carried out on 80 taxpayers linked to the above stores in the framework of the so-called Operation Carpo. Of these, 62 were companies and 18 were individuals, physical partners and administrators of the companies investigated.
The Agency had indications that these companies were hiding part of their sales through the use of computer programs that manipulated real sales, suppressing or modifying the amount of a transaction. Previous investigations revealed that these companies received above average cash payments (more difficult to monitor) for the wholesale fruit sector; sometimes even exceeding 80% of sales.
Also, the operating margins of these companies were "significantly lower" than those of other companies in the sector, sometimes with negative results during several years.
The operation, which counted with the participation of more than 430 employees of the Agency, and which received police support, has affected 15 stores in the Region of Valencia, 14 in Madrid, 11 in Galicia, 11 in Andalusia, 6 in the Canary Islands, 5 in Aragon, 3 in Murcia, 3 in Castile-Leon, 2 in Asturias, 2 in Extremadura, 1 in the Balearic Islands, 1 in Cantabria and 1 in La Rioja. Similar actions have been carried out simultaneously in the Basque Country and Navarre, coordinated by regional authorities.