BUSINESS

Taxpayers appear reluctant to file their income tax statements

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

Just 8 percent of taxpayers have submitted their tax statements for 2015 incomes, according to data from the General Secretariat for Public Revenue. The delay is attributed to the strike by accountants who oppose the new social security system, as well as to the absence of any hurry on the part of taxpayers to meet their obligations.

In the month since April 5, when the online Taxisnet platform opened, just 500,000 income tax declarations have been filed of a total 6.2 million statements the online system is expected to receive this year. In this context Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis warned on Wednesday there would be no extension to the June 30 deadline. He said, “There will only be an extension for any days that the Taxisnet system experiences any technical problems.”

So far the first half-million statements submitted concern 270,000 income declarations (or 54 percent) incurring zero tax, 100,000 statements entitled to a tax rebate, and 130,000 declarations which should result in additional tax payments from the taxpayers for their 2015 incomes.

Alexiadis told Praktorio 104.9 FM radio on Wednesday that taxpayers should submit their tax declarations in time, noting that the law still provides for the payment of the tax in three equal installments every two months, starting in July. He did add, however, that the Finance Ministry has already prepared a clause for the payment of the income tax in monthly installments up to December 2016. “If anyone submits their declaration now and it is processed within May, then in June they will be able to make use of that measure,” the alternate minister stated.

Until the new clause, which will allow for the payment of income tax in six or seven tranches up to December, is approved by Parliament, taxpayers will still have to pay in three installments at the end of July, September and November. This concerns taxpayers who have to pay additional tax on top of what was withheld from their salaries during 2015. It is estimated that more taxpayers will have to pay extra tax for their 2015 incomes this year, not because their earnings have grown but because taxes have increased.

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