BUSINESS

Firms fleeing high taxes to face inspections

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Economy

Tax authorities are to begin more intensive checks on companies registered in Bulgaria and Cyprus but which are owned by Greeks to see if they are actually active in Greece and only based abroad to take advantage of much lower corporate taxation.

Sources told Kathimerini that most such companies in Bulgaria show zero turnover in the host country and do not employ anyone.

A high-ranking government official said that Greece intends to sign agreements with Bulgaria and Cyprus soon so that it can carry out in-depth investigations into these types of companies.

According to sources in Athens, discussions with Bulgarian and Cypriot officials have already begun. The government hopes that the agreements can be signed by the end of September.

The Finance Ministry will also ask for the cooperation of tax authorities in the two countries so that Athens can soon launch probes into specific companies for which there have been allegations of tax evasion.

The government is also planning to submit a bill to Parliament that would allow for the imposition of large fines on companies that are found to have set up headquarters abroad but which only do business in Greece.

The government official told Kathimerini that the coalition’s aim is to stop this practice.

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