BUSINESS

Insufficient property data hurt revenues

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Property

More than 500,000 properties, mostly outside Greece’s main cities, are undertaxed, as the state does not know exactly where they are due to its use of obsolete maps. Meanwhile there are thousands of errors in the E9 tax forms in which property assets are declared by owners. All this has led to revenue losses for the state that are estimated at 140-200 million euros per annum.

The situation is quite tragic, as there are no precise data for those half a million properties, given that they are located on unnamed roads and the state cannot determine their exact position. For this reason the calculation of the correct property tax due is impossible. It comes as little surprise that, in the era of online mapping services, the Finance Ministry is still using the paper variety.

The most shocking aspect of all this, however, is how those assets are taxed: In order to avoid having an owner pay more tax than they should, based on an old ministerial decision that remains in place, if a property’s precise location cannot be determined due to insufficient data at the ministry’s disposal, the tax imposed is particularly favorable and amounts to no more than half what it should be.

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