After months of delays, the first receipt lottery was conducted on Thursday, with the lucky 1,000 taxpayers set to collect 1,000 euros each in cash next week. The measure is intended to encourage the use of electronic transactions to boost state revenues and contain tax evasion.
Despite original plans to include all electronic transactions carried out between the beginning of this year and October 31 in yesterday’s draw, in the end it only included October’s card and e-banking transactions. According to data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, the 8 million transactions that entered the draw exceeded 2.1 billion euros in total, concerning some 4.5 million taxpayers.
IAPR head Giorgos Pitsilis confirmed that the cash prizes will be credited to the winners’ bank accounts next week, after they have informed the authority of their IBAN numbers via its website (www.aade.gr).
Another set of 1,000 tax registration numbers (AFMs) were also drawn as backup in case any of the first 1,000 winners fail to claim their prizes. The taxpayers whose AFMs were drawn will need to register their IBAN number within three months of the draw or lose their winnings.
The tax authority is also planning a big end-of-year draw based on receipts from transactions in the first nine months of the year and in November. A total of 10,000 winners will be drawn who will share 10 million euros (again 1,000 euros each). Earnings are tax-free.
Taxpayers who want to see their entries and to check whether they are winners can visit the Public Draws page on the IAPR website using their Taxisnet access username and password. Winners will also be informed via personal messages to their Taxisnet profile. No paper receipt is required for the collection of prizes.
Public interest in the draw surged to unexpected levels on Thursday evening, temporarily bringing the IAPR server down in the process.
IAPR reminded the public that each winner can only get one prize in each draw, so if two or more receipts belonging to the same taxpayer are drawn, they will only get 1,000 euros and the rest will go to the backup winners.
Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou stated that containing tax evasion is the most substantial way toward a more fair distribution of the tax load.