BUSINESS

Deadline extension necessary to prevent collapse of Taxisnet

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance, Taxation

Just 14 days before the cutoff date for the submission of the year’s income tax declarations, all signs suggest that the government will be forced to extend the deadline, not least because the online Taxisnet portal will likely crash if too many people leave it until the last minute.

The current trickle of statement submissions is expected to increase substantially toward the end of this month, when the period for uploading filled-in forms expires, creating a bottleneck in the Finance Ministry’s system. Given that some 3.1 million statements had still not been submitted up until Friday, in the next two weeks the online system will have to accept more than 215,000 declarations per day.

If corporate statements and the various monthly tax obligations, such as major companies’ value-added tax declarations, are added to the equation, it appears unlikely that Taxisnet will be able to withstand the pressure.

According to the statistics of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, up until Friday only half of the country’s taxpayers (3.1 million) had filed declarations on their 2016 incomes and assets.

IAPR officials privately admit that the risk of having millions of taxpayers trying to upload their forms in the last few days of June will not only make Taxisnet crash but may also create unmanageable problems.

Last year the record figure for daily submissions was 163,915, on July 14, a far cry from the average of 215,000 needed before the submissions window closes. On most other days last year the average rate amounted to 120,000 forms per day.

Accountants are also putting pressure on the ministry to announce an extension due to the workload they are expected to plow through this month.

Data show that 3,084,814 declarations have been processed to date, with three in every eight (37.71 percent), or 1,163,409 of them, entailing additional tax payment, averaging out at 903 euros per taxpayer. Figures show that taxpayers with high or very high incomes have in the majority avoided submitting their tax form to date, as the average tax due remains at relatively low levels.

The first tax installment is due by end-July, the second by end-September and the final one by end-November.

Online