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Anti-tax fraud campaign has already hit its target for the year

Revenues amount to 8.5 million euros in the first nine months

The Tax Agency (AEAT) has already surpassed its target for the full year for revenues garnered from its anti-fraud campaign, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced on Thursday. “The Tax Agency has already taken in 8.5 billion euros between January and September in the fight against fraud,” Rajoy said in the prime minister’s residence in Madrid in the presence of top officials from the AEAT.

The AEAT had targeted income in its fight against tax dodgers of 8.171 billion euros, up 8.0 percent from a year earlier. “This government has the obligation to fight against tax fraud […] as question of justice because this is the road that brings us closer to our goal, which is none other than to grow and create jobs,” Rajoy said. “We will not hesitate to do everything within our reach to comply with this commitment.” Experts estimated that the black economy in Spain could account for up to a quarter of the country’s GDP.

The government has introduced a controversial amnesty for tax dodgers who come clean, allowing them to pay a rate of only 10 percent on black market money they decide to declare. Tax inspectors themselves have come out against the amnesty.