Registration numbers of tax dodgers’ will be suspended

By Sotiris Nikas

The Finance Ministry plans to cancel the tax registration numbers of any taxpayers or enterprises that do not pay their due taxes as the government attempts to further contain its revenue losses.

A bill drawn up by the Administrative Reform Ministry and put up for consultation on Tuesday includes a clause that provides for “the tax authorities to be able to suspend the use of a tax registration number or proceed to its deactivation if objective data show that the taxpayer has ceased the exercise of his financial activity or that he has committed tax evasion or another crime.”

The Finance Ministry is hoping that the bill will persuade tax evaders to think again and present any income that they may have been hiding to date, as no financial activity is possible without a tax number. Any inactive enterprises will also be written off the ministry’s register.

This move had been recommended by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but the ministry has clarified that it will only concern tax evasion cases identified after Parliament has cleared the bill.

Anyone found to have evaded tax payments will first receive a notification from the responsible authorities, intended to serve as a warning, with the suspension or deactivation of the tax registration number following in case of noncompliance. The bill adds that “in every case the taxpayer will have the right to prove” he has not committed tax evasion.

The ministry must also issue decisions that will specify in detail which cases qualify as tax evasion. The General Secretariat of Public Revenues will have to draft those decisions soon so that the measure can be applied as early as possible.