The Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate, or VMI, has taken administrative action against producer and journalist Edmundas Jakilaitis following an inquiry by Agnė Širinskienė, a lawmaker of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU).
Agnė Širinskienė, Edmundas Jakilaitis
© DELFI montažas

The tax authority told Širinskienė in its response letter, posted by the parliamentarian on her Facebook page on Thursday, that it had taken "a decision to initiate administrative action" against Jakilaitis.

Jakilaitis considers this as an effort to put pressure on him for his criticism, but Širinskienė, who heads the parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs, dismisses such allegations, saying that what she asked VMI was to examine, in an objective manner, data on the journalist's business activities.

VMI spokesman Laimonas Rimkus told BNS that he could not specify what kind of administrative action the authority had taken against Jakilaitis.

The journalist told BNS that he had not yet received any notification from VMI.

"I hope this is merely a letter of politeness to Mrs. Širinskienė, because otherwise it would be direct evidence that the chairwoman of the Seimas Committee on Legal Affairs can set a state authority on journalists," he said.

Širinskienė says that she turned to the tax authority after receiving information on possible tax irregularities by Jakilaitis.

"If a journalist commits an irregularity, he is responsible like any other citizen of the Republic of Lithuania," she told BNS.

The lawmaker wrote to VMI in early January to inform it that Jakilaitis could have failed to notify the authority about his new activity of organizing training and to ask whether the journalist had paid taxes on this activity.

Jakilaitis told BNS that he was reporting all of his income.

The Seimas decided last week to launch parliamentary scrutiny of LRT activities. Among other things, it will look at whether the public broadcaster purchases products from production companies, including those owned by Jakilaitis, at market prices.

BNS
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