BUSINESS

Unpaid taxes grow at a rate of over 1 bln euros per month

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

The shortfall in tax revenues looks unlikely to shrink anytime soon as hundreds of thousands of taxpayers are unable to meet their tax obligations due to overtaxation. Data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue revealed on Thursday that in August alone – even before the start of payments for the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) – unpaid taxes amounted to almost 1 billion euros.

This has already been recorded in the draft budget for 2018, according to which revenues will miss their target by over 1.8 billion euros.

IAPR figures showed that expired debts to the tax authorities increased by 1.07 billion euros in August from end-July, reaching up to 8.55 billion since the start of the year. Of that 1.07 billion, 938 million euros comprises taxes that households and enterprises failed to pay.

Nevertheless, every day the tax inspection mechanism carries out some 700 confiscations of funds from bank accounts and other assets in order to protect the state’s interests. The IAPR data showed that 3.85 million taxpayers and corporations owe the state a total of 98.2 billion euros, an amount that increases with every month that passes and is likely to rise above the 100-billion-euro mark by the end of the year.

The IAPR announced it implemented 132,452 confiscations from January to end-August, and is allowed to carry out forced measures on 1,652,508 state debtors.

The tax administration managed to collect some 3.15 billion euros in the first eight months of the year through that avalanche of confiscations from 971,508 state debtors up to August 31 and various debt repayment plans. That breaks down to 1.97 billion from old debts and 1.177 billion from fresh arrears. The target set for this year regarding old expired debts (dating from before January 2017) is 2.7 billion euros, but given the pace of confiscations and other forced measures, it is estimated that more than 5 billion euros will have been collected by the end of the year.

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