BUSINESS

Full checks on all spending

Finance Ministry to obtain all electronic data on taxpayers’ transactions By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

Tax authorities will soon have a complete picture of taxpayers’ transactions as they will be able to check interest paid on bank deposits, credit card payments and most day-to-day spending ranging from electricity bills to private school tuition fees.

The aim is to ascertain the actual incomes of taxpayers that will be cross-checked with their declared incomes. According to a senior Finance Ministry official, authorities have identified taxpayers who spend more than twice as much as they earn on an annual basis according to their income tax declarations without that money having come from deposit withdrawals.

The decision signed by the general secretary for public revenues, Haris Theoharis, forces banks, investment and insurance companies, private clinics, private schools, universities and other tertiary education institutions, fixed and mobile networks, as well as electricity and water utilities to submit to the General Secretariat of Information Systems full details and data on their customers with a full record of their spending in 2013.

The decision calls on credit institutions to submit to the ministry all data relating to deposit interest, bank account transactions above a certain limit, loans, checks, credit card payments, money sent abroad, as well as a full record of transactions by the self-employed and enterprises that are deemed most likely to dodge tax payments.

Water companies will only forward data concerning annual consumption of over 1,000 euros, while private clinics must forward their data with the medical details attached, with the exception of mental health clinics and diagnostic centers.

All data will have to be forwarded to the ministry’s general secretariat by the end of March, and will be retained for six years.

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