BUSINESS

Every other Greek has tax debts

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

Tax authorities have launched a wave of confiscations in response to the steady growth of expired debts to the state, which since 2014 have been increasing at a rate of 1 billion euros per month.

Statistics from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue show that from January 2014 to April 2017, taxpayers failed to meet tax obligations adding up to 43.4 billion euros. In 2014 their debts reached 13.77 billion euros (or 1.14 billion per month), in 2015 they came to 13.48 billion (1.12 billion per month), last year they amounted to 12.16 billion (1.01 billion per month) and in the first four months of the year they totaled 4.03 billion euros or 1.007 billion per month.

Data from tax authorities show that every day since the start of the year they have engaged in an average of 527 confiscations of salaries, pensions and bank account contents in general. This adds up to 54,283 confiscations in the first four months of the year, while the state has taken money out of 906,101 bank accounts since the measure of such confiscations was introduced.

It is clear that this appropriation measure conducted by the competent departments of tax authorities is the result of the excessive taxation imposed on taxpayers and corporations that are unable to meet their obligations.

Last year the state implemented a total of 1,602,835 forced measures, through confiscations, auctions, legal action over unpaid taxes etc. Statistics show that the main tool used has been the confiscation of assets in the hands of third parties, such as the contents of bank accounts, which is proving to be the most effective measure.

This year, 1.6 million state debtors will be subject to confiscations and having their bank accounts frozen.

In total 3.94 million taxpayers owe money to the state that adds up to 94.7 billion euros. This means that about one in every two taxpayers is a state debtor. Sixty-nine of them (including corporations) owe more than 100 million euros each – i.e. 28.7 billion euros or 31 percent of all expired debts to the state.

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