“Express” foreclosures of bank accounts for debts towards State
The Minister of Finances Yannis Stournaras and his deputy Giorgos Mavraganis have signed a ministerial decree allowing the government to “fast track” the foreclosure of bank accounts for overdue debts towards the state. This measure is meant to tackle the tax evasion problem and bolster state revenue.
As of Thursday, the Bank Account Registry will go online, with access granted to the General Secretariat of Public Revenue, SDOE, the Financial Police, the Financial Prosecutor, the Corruption Prosecutor and the authority for tackling money laundering. This register was devised to assist in cases such as the Lagarde List scandal, where there are serious indications of tax evasion.
Access to the Registry will be restricted to certified auditors, while a series of checks and data encryption are meant to ensure privacy. After certified auditors have completed their investigation and submitted the relevant application, the banks will have to respond within 24 hours to the request.
The auditors will not have online access to accounts and loans, but rather a detailed banking profile with all account, loan and investment transactions of the past decade. Tax authorities will be able to access ban accounts and carry out foreclosures within 10 days of the banks receiving the relevant request, rather than the current 3 months that is presently in effect.