BUSINESS

Taxman’s Big Brother arrives

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

A new online system for cross-checking deposits against income declarations, which is aimed at identifying tax dodgers, is set to launch on Thursday.

This new system, to be presented on Thursday by the Finance Ministry and the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, will probe 1.2 million tax registration codes that appear in the 65 CDs in the ministry’s possession, with the results being out in as little as just two days.

What the new system does is separate primary deposits from redeposited money and renewed financial products. The primary deposits will then be compared with income tax declarations to establish whether there are any large discrepancies that would point to hidden incomes.

Trials conducted on the monitoring system have been entirely successful, but some inspectors have expressed reservations about its efficiency, arguing it would be better to introduce it alongside the various parallel applications of the ministry’s online Taxisnet system.

Nevertheless, this evolved system, which will also incorporate all previous checks by the tax authorities, will not be able to cross-check cases that the financial police have probed under a prosecutor’s order. This is because the obsolete system used by the financial police is not compatible with the new one, as it does not separate primary deposits from the sums redeposited.

In contrast, as a top ministry official notes, the new online system works in favor of the taxpayer in case of doubt, exempting – without the intervention of the person operating the system – those deposits which are not clearly primary ones.

Sources say that there is also another inspection mechanism being planned. It will operate under the orders of financial prosecutors and number some 200 inspectors. This new corps will undertake to execute prosecutors’ orders which today are forwarded to the tax authorities and the financial police.

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