BUSINESS

Gov’t lets tax evasion grow by the day

EVGENIA TZORTZI

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

Restaurants in certain parts of the country have already started presenting patrons with two menus listing different prices: one with value-added tax and the other without it.

The phenomenon has apparently started since Easter and has even been witnessed in areas that attract high-end tourism, usually not the ideal setting for this form of fraud.

The menu presented had the prices without VAT, i.e. the 23-percent charge that has now risen to 24 percent, with both the patrons and the restaurants being happy for defrauding the state that appears unreliable, inconsistent, inefficient and at times even sinister.

Tax evasion in Greece is taking an ever growing proportion, with the state playing its part too: The delay of the Finance Ministry in drafting a strategy that would render compulsory the online transactions and the cross checking of data continues to feed the illegal economy that uses the pretext of excessive taxation to grow further by the day.

Online payment experts remind that the key issue in beating tax evasion is not only the compulsory use of credit or debit cards, but also the comparison of the receipts that the card terminal issues with those of the cash register of each enterprise. Yet the data the General Secretariat or Public Revenues receives online go largely unchecked.

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