BUSINESS

Three pct of Greeks pay 42 pct of income tax

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

Forty-two percent of the income tax that is collected every year is paid by just 3 percent of taxpayers, according to figures published by the General Secretariat of Public Revenue.

This 3 percent corresponds to the 267,480 taxpayers who declare annual incomes of over 30,000 euros, totaling 35 billion euros.

As the figures show that the state budget mainly relies on that top income bracket, the government is planning to raise the tax for those 267,480 Greeks further so it can reduce that paid by lower income tiers.

If the Finance Ministry’s latest plan materializes, these taxpayers will be paying around 60 percent tax on their income after factoring in the solidarity levy, while the remaining taxpayers enjoy a reduction.

Critics of the plan say it shows that instead focusing on combating tax evasion, authorities are instead taking the easy path of overtaxation.

The secretariat’s data also show that 1,176,043 taxpayers paid no tax whatsoever last year, while 1,304,634 declared annual incomes of up to 1,000 euros. Even more striking is the fact that almost 50 percent of all taxpayers, or 3.98 million, declare annual incomes below 5,000 euros, which may on the surface show the extent poverty has reached in Greece, but also points to the size of tax evasion.
 

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