KIEV (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Ukraine on Wednesday reminded entertainers making money by posing as Did Moroz - the local version of Santa Claus - and his helpers to pay income tax.
The former Soviet republic's government faces $9 billion in foreign debt repayments next year and its budget deficit almost tripled in January-October this year to more than $4 billion.
By studying internet advertisements, the state tax service found out that a Did Moroz with a traditional female Snihuronka (Snow Maid) helper would earn 250 to 3,500 hryvnias ($30 to $440) per hour in capital Kiev this season.
"Such citizens will need to file forms and pay taxes," the tax service said in a statement.
The service said it was barred from conducting tax checks on small businesses but urged ordinary Ukrainians to report tax-dodging Santas.
Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Angus MacSwan