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Russia denies massive divorces for tax avoidance

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-19 18:06

MOSCOW - The Russian State Duma, lower house of the parliament, possesses no particular data about the number of its members who have allegedly divorced recently in order to conceal their taxable income, a Duma representative said Friday.

"I can't rule out that the divorces for convenience have happened," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted deputy head of the State Duma Ethics Commission Andrei Andreev as saying.

Andreev said no one in the Duma possessed the precise information about the family affairs of its members and has no right to investigate such allegations.

Local media reported this week that some 30 Duma members had divorced prior to filling in their tax declarations in the last two months. Among them could be deputy speaker of the Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky, his colleague Ilya Ponomaryov told reporters.

Zhirinovsky denied the accusation and said he had never divorced.

Russian law requires the members of the legislatures as well as state officials to file their tax returns which must include the income of their spouses.

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