BUSINESS

Data show Greeks paid 1 bln more taxes in June

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Economy

Greeks paid an additional 1 billion euros in tax in June 2016 compared with June 2015, a report from the General Secretariat for Public Revenue shows. The jump in tax takings was the result of a host of new measures voted in the spring and implemented with immediate effect.

Value-added tax increases were the main contributor, along with a hike in income tax and increased advanced tax payments.

Revenue from tax avoidance penalties remains meager.

In June total tax revenue came to 3.59 billion euros, up by 1 billion (or 38.86 percent) compared to June 2015. Indirect taxes rose by 739.41 million and direct taxes by 267.04 million.

The increased tax revenues in June are attributable to the following:

1. Higher VAT rates. Revenue from this source shows a rise of 52.84 percent, meaning that in June, households and businesses paid 381.31 million euros more in tax. Revenue from excise taxes was up in the same period by 292.65 million euros.

2. Increases in the amounts of tax deducted from salaries and pensions, and an increase in the prepayment of tax.

Specifically:

* The income tax deducted from wages and pensions amounted to 461.27 million euros in June 2016 versus 401.10 million in the same month last year, an increase of 15 percent. According to the new tax scale for incomes earned from the fiscal year 2016, the increase in taxes withheld from wages and pensions came into effect as of May 27, 2016.

* Revenue from the prepayment of tax increased by 252.6 percent to 15.57 million euros in June 2016 from 4.42 million euros in the same month last year.

Revenue from corporate income tax increased 88.5 percent, or 241.53 million euros, in June 2016, against 128.11 million euros in the same month last year.

The coming months will be even harder as the first round of the new ENFIA tax becomes payable in September and excise duty on heating oil, including kerosene, increases in October from 230 euros per kiloliter to 280 euros per kiloliter.

From January 1, 2017 excise tax also increases on liquefied petroleum gas, unleaded petrol and diesel.

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