Taxation extortion

The publisher of To Vima and Ta Nea has been informed from reports in the Press and the initial leads from the Ministry…

Taxation extortion | tovima.gr

The publisher of To Vima and Ta Nea has been informed from reports in the Press and the initial leads from the Ministry of Justice to ERT and a pro-government website that his personal bank accounts have been seized. Upon closer inspection, it appears that it is a prosecutor’s order in relation to a tax audit for 2000-2012 that has been going on for months. It goes without saying that the person concerned has not been notified about the accounts being seized.

This is one of the well-known tax audits that a plethora of taxpayers and businessmen have endured and continue to endure, which is not related to the asset declaration issue that emerged a while ago and which was discredited as soon as they attempted to make an association.

The seizing of accounts though is being carried out based on the initial inspection, unilaterally and without a response or rebuttal from the taxpayer himself on the source and origin of the funds that have bene deposited in his accounts over time. The taxpayer is the called to justify the findings or explain the tax exemption on his accounts, which derive from sources that were lawfully not included in the tax returns. Consequentely, any report to sums is premature, unsubstantiated and of course, not final. In any case, the tax authorities have not yet been challenged at this stage and obviously they may be subject to a revision.

As such, the tax authorities are implementing a usual, well-known practice, which along with the seizing of the accounts, has objectively kept a large number of businessmen hostage via taxation. All that is different in this case is that the Ministry of Justice has made the leak itself and notification was carried out through the Press! Anyone observing the govenrment tactics on manipulating information though is not really surprised.

Stavros P. Psycharis

Originally published in the Sunday print edition

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