BUSINESS

Second thoughts over demand taxpayers spend 30 pct online

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation

The government is reviewing the new measure regarding the minimum threshold of online payments required, as it has generated a strong reaction. Article 7 of the tax bill, which is open for public consultation, continues to concern taxpayers despite some last-minute fine tuning.

The requirement that each taxpayer collects online receipts amounting to at least 30 percent of their annual income – or face a penalty – is seen as impossible for many citizens, who argue that either the threshold should drop or the categories of taxpayers with a reduced obligation (at 20 percent of their income) should be expanded. According to the bill, this provision concerns only those who have spent more than 60 percent of their real incomes on rent, taxes and loan interest.

More than 150 comments have been made by citizens on the opengov.gr website, where the bill has been uploaded for public consultation, with most people stating their inability to make payments totaling 30 percent of their income via credit/debit cards and e-commerce. In this light, the government is contemplating the reduction of the threshold to 25 percent or even 23 percent for everyone. Another option under consideration is the improvement of the clause benefiting a large number of citizens’ categories.

For example, one of the commenters protesting the measure on the site noted that his annual incomes amounts to 10,000 euros, of which 3,600 goes to his ex-wife in alimony, so his actual income is 6,400 euros, of which 3,000 euros will now have to be spent using cards and e-payments, as the alimony does not count, even if it’s paid electronically.

Another taxpayer complained about the fact that electronic rent payments also don’t count toward reaching the threshold of 30 percent of one’s income, adding that “the rent has not been exempted from anywhere by the tax authorities for some years.”

Businesspeople are also worried about the absence of a clause fulfilling the pledge for a further reduction of corporate tax in 2020 to 20 percent, from 24 percent for 2019. The bill only provides for the reduction of the tax on this year’s profits from 28 to 24 percent and the halving of the dividend tax from 10 to 5 percent.

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