Government watch. Who will spy on our bank accounts?

The disclosure by Edward Snowden of U.S. massive spying program caused a huge outrage and it could hardly be expected that any state would dare to openly encroach on human freedom and privacy. Yet, this is exactly what happened in Lithuanian last week.

An “attack” was committed by the authors of newly proposed tax regulations. This proposal stipulates that all credit institutions will have to provide the State Tax Inspectorate with information about the turnover and balance of individual accounts, interest rates, debt liabilities plus other information for tax administration purposes.

This means that all accounts will be subject to checking, regardless of whether they belong to honest taxpayers or tax evaders.

The proposal also contains an obligation for banks and other institutions to provide  the State Tax Inspectorate with periodic data on the clients’  property, income and expenditure. At present the STI may require such information only in certain predefined  cases.

LFMI’s full commentary (in Lithuanian):