Tax checks on firms and indivduals well below target in January

The Greek state lagged far behind its targets for tax checks on companies and individuals in January, according to Finance Ministry data.

Just four checks on large companies were completed in January against a target of 330 for the first six months of this year.

Also, only 33 self-employed professionals were inspected, whereas the goal is to check 1,200 by the end of the year.

A total of just 279 million euros was collected in overdue debts from individuals and businesses in January. The total owed to the state exceeds 50 billion euros although Greece and its lenders believe the majority of this can no longer be collected as many firms have gone out of business.

Worryingly for the Finance Ministry, statistics showed that one in four businessmen and self-employed failed to submit their regular VAT statements.

Tax collection is expected to be one of the main topics up for discussion between government officials and troika representatives, who began their latest assessment of the Greek program on Monday.