BUSINESS

Campaign to crack down on tax evasion focuses on tourists

TAGS: Taxation, Tourism

A new campaign has been launched by the Greek tax authorities to encourage tourists to make payments with credit or debit cards during their holidays in the country – and to always ask for a receipt.

The “Apodixi Please” campaign of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR), known as AADE in Greek, is being promoted on posters and online (www.aade.gr/apodixi).

“Welcome to Greece! We would like to inform you about your consumer rights. All hotels, restaurants and shops are obliged to accept debit/credit cards. You are not obliged to pay if you don’t get a receipt. So ask to pay by card. Ask for a receipt,” the posters read. “It’s so simple to say it in Greek: ‘Apodixi, please.’”

Restaurants, bars, cafes, minimarkets, stores and other businesses that provide goods or services (with a few exceptions, such as taxi drivers and kiosks) are obliged to have electronic cash registers and are not allowed to issue handwritten receipts, the IAPR says.

The IAPR also urges tourists to use cards to make payments because in this way they ensure that the taxes already included in the price of the goods or services will end up in state coffers and benefit the economy.

“By using your card for your payments and asking for a receipt, you help the Greek tax administration collect taxes that are already included in the price you pay. Practically, you contribute to Greece’s financial recovery and offer us the opportunity to provide you with even better services next time you come to our country,” its website says.

The IAPR notes that, for receipts to be legal, they must bear the nine-digit tax number of the business as well as a 40-digit code at the very bottom.

Last week IAPR inspectors launched a crackdown on tax evasion on the popular Aegean holiday island of Myconos.

Almost 60 officials were involved in the four-day operation that extended to all types of business on the island, from hotels and the providers of water sports activities and beach loungers, to nightclubs and tour operators.

The inspections revealed that one restaurant owed the tax authorities millions in debts, while officials imposed temporary closures on several businesses for failing to issue receipts.

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