Ministry resorts to deadline extension for tax declarations

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

The Finance Ministry is set to extend the deadline for the submission of tax statements for 2013 incomes from June 30 to July 31, although it does not plan to change the dates for the payment of the tax due.

Sources say that the resignation of the general secretary for public revenues, Haris Theoharis, as well as problems with the online Taxis system, accountants’ inability to submit their clients’ statements in time and the fact that just 35 percent of declarations have been submitted to date have forced the ministry’s administration to postpone the deadline for the online submission of the E1 form by one month.

Ministry officials also attribute the delay to the fact several law changes regarding the taxation of the unemployed, students and the holders of small deposits had not been corrected by May 15. These corrections have now been made on the E1 forms, so that the aforementioned can now fill in their statements using Taxisnet.

The slow pace of statement submissions is proving a matter of concern for the still headless General Secretariat for Public Revenues, as despite calls for taxpayers to submit their declarations in a timely manner the response has been poor. Ministry officials now fear that the bulk of statements will be submitted in the last few days of June, which may lead to system overload problems that could block the process altogether for some time.

However the deadlines for the tax payment installments will not change, which means that anyone who leaves it till the last day of July before submitting their income declarations will also have pay the first tranche on the same day as the system will have automatically issued the payable amount of tax.

Data from the secretariat show that just 35 percent of taxpayers had submitted their income declarations 18 days before the official end of the statement submission process: By late Wednesday 1,974,327 statements had been submitted out of a total 5.5 million expected this year. Of those who had already submitted their statements, 748,884 have been asked to pay additional taxes on their 2013 incomes.