Companies with tax debts trebled in September

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

Hundreds of thousands of enterprises are unable to fulfill their tax obligations, according to the data published on Monday by the Finance Ministry.

Within just one month, from the end of August to end-September, the number of corporations that have fallen behind on their taxes soared from 182,785 to 526,477.

According to a senior ministry official, most of those 343,692 additional enterprises that failed to meet their obligations have entered special payment programs in the hope of settling their debts in 12 installments. The total amount that corporations owe to the state comes to 39.3 billion euros, but only 647.69 million euros of that has been arranged for payment.

Surprisingly, the opposite trend is apparent in taxpayer debts, as debtors numbered 2.8 million at the end of August, a figure which fell to 2.59 million at end-September. In total, they owe 22.6 billion euros.

A ministry source pointed to the improvement in debt collection, as total receipts in the year to end-September amounted to 2.13 billion euros, up by 35 percent year-on-year.

September revenues grew by 37.2 percent from September 2012, which the general secretary for public revenues, Haris Theoharis, attributes to “the high level of collection of past years’ debts.”