BUSINESS

Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues

The Finance Ministry is setting up a task force to identify instances where citizens or enterprises are overtaxed as well as bureaucratic problems and tax obstacles that hamper market operations.

The decision by Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis provides for the creation of an eight-member team comprising ministry officials and representatives of social groups such as labor unions and traders’ chambers, which will be headed by the general secretary of public revenues.

Notably, one of the team’s members will be the head of the General Directorate for Customs and Special Consumption Taxes, as the government’s aim is to reduce the consumption tax on fuel in the context of the battle against excessive taxation. The creation and setup of the team appears to be connected to the government’s stated intention to lighten the tax burden on citizens.

Among the tasks of the new committee will be examining existing problems in the market as regards taxation and customs, such as complex bureaucratic procedures and various delays. The team must also submit proposals for measures to resolve and prevent those problems.

The government has examined four options to lighten the tax load on Greeks.

The first of theese options concerns reducing the special consumption tax on fuel, given that the tax hike on heating oil has not fetched the anticipated results. The second provides for an increase in the number of installments for the settlement of expired debts. The third concerns a reduction in the so-called solidarity levy, which may even reach up to 50 percent. And the last relates to changes in value-added tax, which is also a commitment the government has agreed with its creditors.

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