Debts towards tax services and tax payers on the rise

Despite the coalition government’s efforts, millions of taxpayers in Greece are facing serious problems in paying their taxes on time, resulting in the…

Despite the coalition government’s efforts, millions of taxpayers in Greece are facing serious problems in paying their taxes on time, resulting in the increase of debts towards the State each month. Taxpayers cite the increased taxes and reduced income as the main reason for not being to able to pay on time. This problem also affects the State though, with debts towards taxpayers also increasing.

In the first quarter of 2014 there were 3.5 billion euros worth of unpaid taxes, 1.2 billion of which debt was generated in March alone. At the end of March it was estimated that outstanding debts amounted to 65.445 billion euros, which is about 10 billion euros more than the total revenue estimated in the annual state budget.

The Greek state’s debts towards taxpayers at the end of March amounted to 4.7 billion euros, compared to 4.6 billion euros in February and 4.1 billion euros at the end of December. The State’s debt towards taxpayers increased by 600 million euros during the first quarter of 2014. The grand total comes to about 5.2 billion euros, if the rather later tax returns are included. Insurance funds owe about 2.9 billion euros, with EOPYY alone having 1.8 billion euros worth of debt.

The state collected about 889 million euros of outstanding debts in the first quarter, of which 561 million euros were from debts in 2013, while the other 328 million euros of debt were generated in 2014. About 141 million euros worth of debt have been cancelled.

General Secretarial of Public Revenue increases inspections

The dramatic situation has prompted the General Secretariat of Public Revenue to take some initiatives, such as increasing the number of audits and inspections on big business, offshores and taxpayers with overseas remittances. A total of 2,431 inspections and audits have been initiated, with 314 completed in March. The goal is complete 250 inspections by June and 500 in total by the end of the year.

The Financial Prosecutor and the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) will also handle about 1,202 cases of tax evasions, with 121 cases of money laundering currently being processed. Their goal is to complete 307 inspections by the end of June, 720 by the of the year and to collect 50% of confirmed debts and fines.

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