BUSINESS

Frozen sums often are far above debts

TASOS TELLOGLOU

TAGS: Economy

Tax authorities, especially those responsible for monitoring large enterprises and wealthy taxpayers, often proceed to freezing and confiscating assets in bank accounts that are many times higher than the amount owed to the state by the debtor, Kathimerini understands.

Such overzealousness in forced measures on debtors’ assets has also become quite frequent, recent cases show. For instance, in the case of a taxpayer in northern Greece inspected for evasion amounting to 1.2 million euros, the tax authorities have frozen his accounts with contents of 6.5 million euros.

Then there’s the case of a department store chain where the state imposed tax requirements of 3 million euros and authorities froze accounts adding up to 21 million euros, leading the enterprise to financial suffocation as it it unable to pay its suppliers, employees, value-added tax dues and other obligations.

These huge discrepancies originate from accounting differences in the calculation of the value of real estate assets that host the chain’s stores.

“The mentality is: I’ll keep your bank accounts frozen until you pay up,” explains a retired judge of the Council of State.

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