BUSINESS

Tax statement backlog makes deadline extension essential

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

The slow rate of submission of income tax declarations will likely lead to the Finance Ministry’s online Taxisnet system crashing later this month with the rush to beat the deadline, as the number of statements that have not yet been submitted exceeds 3.4 million.

The pending declarations will have to be filed within the next 20 days (the deadline is June 30), which means that the online system will have to handle more than 170,000 statements per day. When the business statements and the tax obligations for this month (value-added tax from major enterprises) are factored in, the ministry’s online system will probably be burdened beyond its daily capacity.

Ministry officials say that Taxisnet cannot handle more than 120,000-140,000 statements per day. This was clearly illustrated in previous years when the system would frequently crash, creating major problems for taxpayers and accounting offices, who were asked to submit the statements late at night when fewer people were trying to access the system.

Regardless of what the government says, it will be forced to extend the deadline by at least 10-20 days, but without amending the cutoff date for the payment of the first tranche of the tax, July 31.

Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis told Parliament on Thursday that 43 percent of tax declarations have been filed so far, and called on taxpayers to submit their statements in time because no extension will be granted.

Alexiadis added that the daily flow of statements has grown from 20,000-30,000 to about 110,000. “We are not planning on doing what we did in 2015 and taking the deadline to October,” he said, stressing that “this pending issue must be completed soon, because we will also have to start the process for the Single Property Tax” (ENFIA).

The head of the General Secretariat for Public Revenue, Giorgos Pitsilis, has said that the ENFIA tax slips will be uploaded in August. The first installment will be due at the end of August or a month later.

Out of the 2,566,707 income tax declarations that had been submitted up until Thursday, 465,796 will bring taxpayers a tax rebate averaging at 261 euros, another 810,089 will entail an additional tax payment averaging at 1,014 euros per taxpayers, and more than half (50.22 percent) will entail neither rebates nor additional payments.

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