BUSINESS

Can Greek budget revenues sustain growth?

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance, Taxation

Taxpayers have been granted an extension to the deadline for the submission of tax declarations, it emerged on Monday, while the Finance Ministry is hoping to build on the increase of revenues recorded in May toward a greater primary surplus mainly reliant on nonpayment of state dues.

Seeing that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers have still not filed tax statements concerning last year’s incomes, the ministry announced that the deadline will be extended from this Thursday, June 30, to Friday, July 15. The extension concerns both the household and corporate income tax statements.

However, the ministry’s statement made it clear there will be no extension to the deadline for the payment of the first installment of the income tax, where that applies, which remains July 31.

According to data from the General Secretariat for Public Revenues, up until Monday just 4.3 million statements had been submitted on the Taxisnet online system, meaning that another 1.8 million declarations remain to be entered for the procedure to be completed.

Figures released on Monday by the State General Accounting Office showed a primary budget surplus of 2.28 billion euros in the first five months of the year, mainly due to the nonpayment of more than 9 billion euros the state owes to third parties such as suppliers and taxpayers.

In May budget expenditure dropped 2.7 billion euros below target, while, after months of coming up short of the target, revenues exceeded it by 356 million euros. Still, the crucial period for budget revenues starts next month, when expected monthly inflows double, due to the payment of income tax. From June up to the end of the year the state must collect 31.8 billion euros, or 4.5 billion euros per month, which may well prove an impossible task within the given time frame.

In the January-May period, net budget revenues amounted to 17.26 billion euros, up 773 million euros or 4.7 percent from their target.

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