BUSINESS

Tax authorities to chase undeclared properties

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance, Taxation

Finance Ministry inspectors are about to start seeking out the owners of undeclared properties, while the law will be amended to allow for financial products and the content of safe deposit boxes to be confiscated electronically.

The plan for the identification of taxpayers who have “forgotten” to declare their properties to the tax authorities is expected to be ready by year-end, according to the timetable of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.

Tax authorities will receive support from the Land Register to that end, as by end-September IAPR inspectors are set to obtain access to the company’s database to draw details on properties. Any taxpayers identified as having skipped the declaration of their assets to the tax authorities will be asked to comply and declare them, along with paying the tax and fines dictated by law.

The IAPR is also waiting for Parliament to pass regulations permitting the mass confiscation of safe deposit box contents and financial assets such as securities. To date the process has been conducted in handwriting and is therefore particularly slow in locating the assets of taxpayers who have either concealed incomes or have major debts to the state.

Once the necessary regulations are in place for the operation of an automatic system to collect debts, the tax authorities will be able to issue online confiscation notices and immediately get their hands on the contents of safe deposit boxes, confiscating cash, precious stones, jewelry and so on. They will also be able to confiscate shares and other securities.

This year the tax authorities will focus their efforts on confiscations as they try to reduce the huge pile of expired debts to the state. In this context the Independent Authority for Public Revenue will auction 27 properties belonging to state debtors by the end of next month, with the aim of collecting 2.7 billion euros by the end of the year from old debts and another 690 million euros of new debts from major debtors.

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