Self-employed to shoulder most of new tax burden

Self-employed professionals in Greece, who have traditionally been responsible for a large part of the country’s tax evasion problem, are going to have to pay the bulk of the tax increases the government will implement over the next two years as part of its bailout commitments.

According to the new tax code prepared by the government, and which is due to be submitted to Parliament on Tuesday, self-employed professionals will pay 1.3 billion euros more in tax over the next two years, when Greece has to raise an extra 3 billion euros from taxation to be in line with the troika’s demands.

The abolishing of tax breaks (only discounts for expenditure on healthcare, charitable donations and child support will remain in place) will lead to salaried workers and pensioners paying an extra 237 million euros in tax, while reductions in child benefits will bring in another 230 million euros.

Farmers will have to cough up an extra 282 million euros due to a reduction in their VAT rebate, while they will also be obliged to keep proper accounting books for the first time. This will lead to them being taxed at a rate of 13 percent from the first euro they earn.

Rises in indirect taxes and social security contributions worth some 700 million euros, which will affect all sectors of society, will also be implemented.