In the six months since the kick-off of the Receipt Lottery, organized by the State Revenue Service of Latvia (SRS), a total of almost 9 million receipts have been received.
The purpose of the Receipt Lottery is to promote fair competition and voluntary tax compliance by encouraging consumers to request receipts for goods purchased and services received, thereby contributing to a cultural shift in society against the shadow economy. This is the first time the Receipt Lottery is taking place in Latvia, but in other parts of the world, it is a practice that has produced positive results both in terms of changing public behavior and also by increasing revenue in the state budget.
The Receipt Lottery began on 1 July 2019, and anyone can participate, including minors (although their receipts cannot be for tobacco products or alcoholic and energy beverages). All people need to do is register their receipts (min. value 5 euros) on the Lottery website https://www.cekuloterija.lv/. SRS employees may not participate.
Receipt Lottery participants can win a cash prize of €10 000, three cash prizes of €5000, and 50 cash prizes of €100 each month. There are also annual cash prizes of €20 000, four cash prizes of €10 000, and five cash prizes of €2000. Each month, participants can also take part in an additional raffle for prizes supplied by participants of the In-Depth Cooperation Program (https://www.vid.gov.lv/en/depth-cooperation-programme). While all receipts are eligible, the ratio of receipts for services to goods has been set at 70:30 to address shadow economy issues in the service sector. So, the chances of winning are better for receipts received for services. Receipt Lottery winnings are not subject to personal income tax. To claim the prize, the actual receipt must be presented to the SRS or scanned for submission in the SRS Electronic Declaration System (EDS).
Analysis of the receipts reveal trends, which have resulted in checks on businesses. For example, certain control measures have been taken for companies that have declared no revenue or amounts substantially lower than indicated by receipts submitted in the Lottery. As a result of receipt analyses, the SRS has made numerous tax return checks, resulting in 126 taxpayers submitting corrected returns and paying additional tax in the amount of 372 000 euros: VAT (352k), state social insurance mandatory contributions (15k), and personal income tax (almost 5k ). Additionally, fines of 19 000 euros were given.
Generally, the greatest number of infractions were found in the retail and catering sectors:
- use of unregistered cash registers or ones that do not comply with technical requirements ;
- various VAT infractions; and
- undeclared wages.