BUSINESS

A third of taxpayers didn’t pay their first tranche of income tax in July

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Economy

Almost one in three taxpayers who were supposed to pay their first installment of income tax by the end of July was unable to do so, according to data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.

Figures showed on Thursday that 671,000 taxpayers forfeited the payment of tax adding up to some 340 million euros, a development that is generating serious concern at the Finance Ministry as it is absolutely necessary that the targets of the budget be met.

The government is keen to know whether the taxpayers who missed their first payment last month plan to enter the Finance Ministry’s favorable payment scheme which provides for 12 monthly installments, because if they don’t make any payments, the hole in the state’s finances will be close to 1 billion euros.

That households are suffering from a tax overload is obvious to senior ministry officials as the data at hand show a drop in the collection rate the budget was based on (over 85 percent).

The high taxes and the increased down-payment for next year for self-employed professionals and farmers have asphyxiated many households, resulting in them being unable to meet their obligations not only to the tax authorities and the social security funds but also to banks.

By July 31, 2.43 million taxpayers were supposed to pay 1,114,509,000 euros, but instead 1.76 million of them paid just over 775 million, while 671,000 left 339.4 million euros unpaid.

Last year the number of people who forfeited the first tranche in July came to 659,000, but this year there are many more being asked to pay extra tax compared to 2016.

It is noted that anyone who fails to pay their first tranche will not only be fined 0.73 percent of their dues for every month they delay payment, but they could also be subject to forced measures such as the confiscation of salaries or pensions or having their bank accounts frozen. Furthermore, taxpayers who have previously entered a 100-tranche payment program older debts may be forced out of it as the law dictates the timely payment of all their obligations for them to stay in the scheme.

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