BUSINESS

Tax clearance mess grows by the day

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

The Finance Ministry is unable for the time being to provide a solution to the major problem regarding the freeze in the issuing of tax clearance certificates to property owners.

The problem arose after the fiasco over the new single property ownership tax (ENFIA), which was unveiled last week and caused an uproar due to erroneous data having been used in the calculations. The ministry has rolled back the first ENFIA installment payment date to the end of September, in hopes of correcting most of the errors by then. However, this means that tax clearance certificates cannot be issued until the errors are corrected and the tax paid. Additionally, any income tax rebates will be withheld and cleared against the ENFIA installments.

And it is not just businesses and self-employed professionals that are feeling the heat, as the vicious cycle of clearances is also affecting the farmers who will be entitled to compensation for losses incurred as a result of the Russian food ban.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the ministry essentially acknowledged the problem that has arisen for millions of taxpayers and the mess regarding tax clearance certificates. In vague terms it said it will issue an order soon that will clear the rebates against ascertained tax dues and solve the problem.

“Tax clearance certificates, valid for two months, can be obtained online in cases where no taxes are owed. In other cases, certificates valid for one month are issued by any public tax office and may also be obtained from the ministry’s Taxpayers’ Service Bureau (GEF). As of September, certificates valid for one month will also be issued online for most cases. As regards the clearance of rebates against ENFIA installments, there will be a decision settling the issue within the next few days,” the Finance Ministry statement said.

It is apparent, however, that as taxpayers have new dues to pay virtually every month in the form of income tax, VAT or ENFIA, clearance certificates valid for two months may only be issued online in very few cases.

The Finance Ministry will upload its revised ENFIA notifications on September 15, when it will also make an application available to taxpayers who wish to correct erroneous data.

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