BUSINESS

More taxes wrung out of Greeks

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

Income tax and property taxation contributed to an increase in tax revenues in 2015 according to the definitive figures that the Finance Ministry released on Friday.

Collections from income and property taxes beat the target the government had set by some 500 million euros, leading to a primary surplus of 2.27 billion euros. Still, the primary surplus missed its target of 3.25 billion euros by 986 million and the final figure would have been greater had the ministry returned to taxpayers the excess taxes they had paid in the previous year, amounting over 448 million euros.

The state budget’s net revenues amounted to 51.42 billion euros, missing their target by 1.67 billion or 3.1 percent. This shortfall is attributed to the non-collection of the revenues eurozone central banks had reaped from holding Greek state bonds, amounting to 3.59 billion euros. Had this been factored in, there would have been a surplus of 1.92 billion euros.

In the 12 months of 2015 there was a better result compared to the target in personal income tax, which was 187 million euros or 2.5 percent higher, in the special categories income tax, which beat the target by 79 million or 6.1 percent, in asset taxes, which came in 312 million or 10.9 percent higher, and in non-tobacco value-added tax, that was 131 million or 1.2 percent over the target. In contrast, income tax from corporations missed its target by 15 million euros or 0.5 percent, as did tobacco VAT, by 25 million or 3.7 percent.

Tax rebates amounted to 2.92 billion euros, missing their target by 448 million. There also are thousands of applications for tax rebates that have not yet been processed by the Finance Ministry.

The state budget expenditure amounted to 54.95 billion euros last year, missing the target of 55.66 billion euros by 713 million. This was mainly due to the reduction in primary spending by 626 million euros. Public Investment Program spending met its target of 6.406 billion euros.

In December alone budget spending came to 8.77 billion euros, covering most of the shortfall of the first 11 months of the year.

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