BUSINESS

Incentives for capital repatriation to stop short of providing full amnesty

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

Clauses concerning the repatriation of capital concealed from the Greek state are in the final stretch of negotiations between the government and the country’s creditors: All signs suggest that there will be no strong incentives included with the exception of protection from prosecution.

The previous plan to convince Greeks with deposits at foreign banks had provided for a reduction in the tax imposed by up to 60 percent, as long as the capital was invested on Greek state bonds.

Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said in an interview with Bloomberg that although short of a full amnesty, the incentives could include the withdrawal of charges. The bill must first be approved by the creditors and could soon be tabled in Parliament, he said.

“We will not forgive everything, but we will provide incentives for people to come forward,” the official noted, adding that the sums to be declared will be taxed at the rate which applied in the year the revenues concerned were concealed. “If someone declared an income of 200,000 euros in a specific year but deposited 500,000 euros in a foreign account, they will have to pay the difference [in taxes]. The proposals made for a tax rate of between 10 and 15 percent are not serious; The rate will be higher,” Alexiadis argued.

He went on to say that the state has imposed total fines of 200 million euros on the so-called tax evaders included in the infamous “Lagarde list” of Greek depositors in Switzerland.

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