BUSINESS

State will not offset its debts to taxpayers

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

Taxpayers and enterprises are still waiting for rebates totaling 1.8 billion euros from the Greek state. This is aggravating the liquidity problems of both households and the market, with Finance Ministry data showing that thousands of enterprises have been waiting more than four years for value-added tax refunds.

Worse, instead of implementing tax refund offsets, where unpaid rebates could be used to reduce the taxpayers’ debts to the state, the government is asking those taxpayers to pay up now or face fines, while the state will pay its dues in the future. Tax offices have seen people queuing up to ask about having their debts offset.

In fact, according to law the state should also pay interest to recipients after 90 days, but accounting offices say this never happens. This way the government has managed to secure a primary budget surplus of 3.1 billion euros in the year to date. Had the government paid all its debts, including the 2 billion euros the general government owes its suppliers, the budget would have a primary deficit of 700 million euros instead of a surplus.

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