Gov?t set to cut tax exemptions

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

The government is aiming to abolish all tax exemptions and the favorable status for specific regions of the country, a measure which will be applied retrospectively for incomes this year. It is also examining new ideas regarding tax brackets for salary workers and pensioners as well as the creation of different brackets for the self-employed.

The retrospective abolition of tax exemptions is expected to lead to an additional tax burden for salary workers and pensioners, who this year have been asked to pay taxes of more than 8 billion euros for their 2011 incomes. With the changes currently being planned, income tax will soar to about 9 billion euros, and all this in a period when the government is deciding in favor of new reductions to salaries, pensions and benefits.

The plan that the leadership of the Finance Ministry is preparing provides for the retrospective cutting of expenditure exemptions from the income tax of taxpayers (not including companies), and the abolition of discounts and other favorable clauses for border and island regions.