Tax authorities in Greece carried out confiscations of salaries, pensions and properties from more than 17,500 taxpayers in January, while debts to the state and social security funds continued to pile up.
According to data published on Wednesday by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, on every working day of January, the judicial departments of the tax authorities carried out an average of 711 confiscations from taxpayers with debts of more than 500 euros.
The confiscations, as well as the various favorable debt settlement schemes, led to the collection of almost 493 million euros, while the authority’s plans for 2018 provide for forced measures on 1.7 million state debtors.
The IAPR statistics showed that the expired debts created in January amounted to 767 million euros, including 693 million euros in taxes that households and businesses were unable to pay. This mostly concerns the nonpayment of the last installment of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) and of the companies’ value-added tax.
In total, overdue debts to the state have come to 102.1 billion euros, over 57 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product. About one-eighth of that amount (13.7 billion euros) is considered impossible to collect, according to tax authorities.
The number of state debtors has climbed to 4.1 million, with practically half the country owing money to the state. Since the start of the crisis, the number of state debtors has grown by some 3 million. Already 1.1 million taxpayers have suffered forced measures, which appear to pay off for state coffers; in January 2018 alone they fetched 440 million euros.
The inability of taxpayers and businesses to meet their obligations is also confirmed by the course of public revenues, which last year posted a shortfall of 2 billion euros. The same picture is also expected this year, as the fresh tax burden and increased social security contributions will further limit Greeks’ taxpaying capacity.