Editorial: Tax evasion is a national crime Mr. MP!
Everyone may denounce it in public, but it appears that tax evasion continues being our national pastime. The latest cases that the prosecutor handed over to SDOE illustrate how the same professions insist upon the same practices and scheme to carry on evading taxes, just like they have been doing all these years.
Despite the fact that inspections have increased and the fines are strict, it appears that the incentives to evade taxes continue to be just as great as ever. Tampered and fake invoices, not issuing receipts and even fake cash registers continue being the norm.
The crisis and the problems it created did not unfortunately lead to an improvement of our tax-paying consciousness. Whether claiming that taxation is excessive or whether because a huge portion of Greeks is addicted to and has settled with the underground economy and black money, the scourge of tax evasion appears exceptionally difficult to subdue.
It is impressive that even politicians, who are finally being arrested for tax evasion, are spouting the same cheap excuses; that they allegedly forgot or that someone else is responsible for their omissions.
Just like the MP who up until yesterday would lash out against crooked politicians, pretending to be an anti-bailout warrior and now wandered from news camera to news camera to justify himself and that he made a little mistake when he forgot to declare 55,000 euros of income.
When it turns out that those who should know better don’t do so, it is obvious what they do when they know that they are not going to be inspected and therefore they hope that they will not be caught by SDOE or that tax office.
It is high time we realized that tax evasion is not just a simple offense, it is a national crime. It is a crime paid dearly that those who don’t want to – and more importantly those who can’t – evade taxes, such as employees and a huge portion of pensioners who do not have our income sources.
That is the part of society that paid and continues to pay the highest price in the crisis. That is why the government ought to put an end to the paper jungle of tax regulations that makes it easy for all sorts of tax evaders, to find the way, just like so many other countries, and restrict tax evasion to acceptable levels, for well-governed country.