Giorgos Pitsilis, the Finance Ministry’s general secretary for public revenue, has requested that tax authorities focus their debt collection efforts exclusively on cases which would stimulate state coffers. In particular, he urged that priority be given to pending tax refund cases, cases where the audit has been completed but the transaction has not, cross-checks of tax findings etc.
According to data published by the secretariat, there was a shortfall in the first half of the year as far as meeting the memorandum-based targets for tax recovery is concerned.
In an effort to reboot the tax collection mechanism, tax enforcement units have been told to focus on cases that could significantly contribute to revenues and increase the volume of taxes collected.
In the first half of the year, a total of 133 complete and 7,827 partial checks were carried out, or 66.95 percent of all the controls due to be conducted in 2016. This surpasses the troika’s target of 50 percent, but the revenues collected fall short of the target.
Pitsilis outlined that heads of audit units should focus on:
- Tax refunds with or without instruction. Tax authorities have currently received tax refund submissions for around 3.5 billion euros.
- Cases for which results have been noted via audit checks and taxes and fines have been provisionally determined.
- Cross-checks, compliance with bookkeeping and the issue of tax information in accordance with applicable regulations for taxpayers who engage in any activity for which the preparation of audit reports or transactions are pending.
- Cases connected to the EU’s VAT Information Exchange System (VIES), which are pending inclusion in Article 99 of the bankruptcy code, the recovery of non-taxable inventories, results from repeating the tax check and from preliminary checks.
In September, the control mechanism will focus on professional categories such as doctors, lawyers and professions active in the construction sector. The tests for each professional category or group will be conducted using a different method, with different criteria being applied to each category.