Greece to seize money from suspected tax evaders' accounts

The Greek government is to begin seizing money from the bank accounts of suspected tax evaders, Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis told Skai TV on Thursday.

Sachinidis said that the relevant authorities have been instructed to seize the amount that account holders are suspected of owing to the state.

The minister said that this would happen before suspected tax evaders go on trial.

Last week, the Finance Ministry said it would put into use its cross-checking software to monitor transactions and catch more tax cheats.

Banks, insurance companies and the stock market will have to submit the full details of transactions by taxpayers so that the ministry can draft a property profile for each person and compare it with the tax statement submitted.

Public and private hospitals to send information about the doctors they employ and their activity.

Private insurance companies as well as social security funds must supply in electronic form all the statements they issue to their clients or beneficiaries for tax purposes, showing the taxpayers? payments and contributions, while utilities, including cell phone networks, must supply account data such as total annual bills.

Credit card companies will also have to submit data on transactions in Greece for cards issued not just in this country but also abroad.