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Dead tax man goes unnoticed

  • 2004-01-29
  • Agence France Presse
HELSINKI - They say only two things are sure in life - death and taxes - but rarely do they come together as in the case of the Finnish tax man who died at his work desk last week and went unnoticed for two days.

The 60-year-old auditor died on Jan. 13, but it reportedly took his colleagues until Jan. 15 to notice that he wasn't just silently poring over tax returns, the Ilta-Sanomat tabloid reported.
Officials declined to comment on the cause of death or confirm the age of the man, saying they would only comment on how it was possible that he could be dead for two days at work without anybody noticing.
"The reason for this was caused by many coincidences," said Anita Wickstroem, director at the Helsinki tax office.
"He was working alone very much and often visiting companies, while his friends and colleagues who used to have lunch or coffee with him were busy in meetings or outside the office at the time," she noted.
There are some 30 workers in the auditing department where he worked, and a total of 100 on the same floor, Wickstroem said.
Finns, who enjoy a comprehensive welfare system, pay among the highest taxes in the world.