The director of Iceland’s Directorate of Internal Revenue has formally requested to have the notorious Panama Papers handed over by Reykjavík Media under article 94 of the law on income taxes.
The law states that: “All parties […] must provide tax authorities, free of charge and in whichever format is requested, all necessary information and documentation they are asked to provide. It is of no import whether the information is about the party the request is made to.”
The director of the tax service sent a letter to Reykjavík Media requesting the leaked documents, and the media company now has an undisclosed amount of time to reply either way. “Now I am just waiting for Reykjavík Media to state an opinion on the matter,” tax director Skúli eggert Þórðarson told RÚV.
Reykjavík Media has not yet handed over any documents and does not plan to in the near future. Reykjavík Media editor Jóhannes Kr. Kristjánsson says that the Panama Papers are not Reykjavík Media’s to give away; rather they are under the stewardship of the ICIJ global organization of investigative journalists. He adds that the tax man’s request is currently with Reykjavík Media’s lawyer for a formal reply.
The law states that if there is a dispute over a party’s obligation to comply, the Internal Revenue can seek a court order to force the documents to be handed over. If the required action is still not carried out, the case can be handed over to police for investigation.
Some 800 companies owned by over 600 Icelanders are named in the Panama Papers leak—some of whom could have been hiding taxable assets from the State.