BUSINESS

Checks on undeclared wealth yield 250 mln in revenues

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Economy, Taxation

More than 62,000 Greeks have paid some 250 million euros in taxes as part of a so-called voluntary scheme to declare taxable income and wealth that was previously hidden.

According to sources, around 80 percent of the taxpayers concerned did not actually come forward voluntarily but instead were summoned by the tax authorities to answer questions as inspectors who had checked lists and bank transactions had found discrepancies between what had been declared and what those concerned possessed in terms of assets.

Those who came forward voluntarily did so to pay less as they faced fines that rose to 120 percent of the amount of tax that was actually due. According to sources, nobody came forward to declare undeclared income that had not been discovered by tax officials.

Nevertheless, the amount that has been collected is deemed to be significant and exceeds the expectations of tax officials, who had thought they would gather less than 200 million euros.

According to data provided by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, a total of 62,000 taxpayers have been through the scheme as a result of around 4 billion euros in undeclared wealth being discovered. The amounts that are being uncovered tend to range between 100,000 and 300,000 euros. Authorities have collected 250 million euros in revenues so far.

Anyone who joins the scheme must pay the tax that is due within 30 days or enter a payment plan that allows them to settle their debt to the tax office in 12 to 24 monthly installments.

The submission of a voluntary declaration does not mean that the matter is closed for individuals and businesses that go through the scheme, as the tax authorities retain the right to check the applicants’ entire range of wealth and assets, regardless of what they declare on their own.

The amounts that those who apply or are called in by tax officials have to pay ranges between 30 and 60 percent of the undeclared money. The exact charges depend on the period of time for which the amounts in question have been hidden from tax officials.

Tax authorities will be sending out notices to taxpayers they believe have undeclared income until September 30.

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