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Ministry aiming to scrap dozens of quasi-fiscal charges

Up to 200 levies designed to raise funds for social security funds and other organizations are reportedly being scrutinized by officials at the Finance Ministry following a request by Greece’s foreign lenders, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Sunday’s Kathimerini understands that Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras will evaluate the feedback in order to scrap any levies – also known as quasi-fiscal charges – which are deemed unfair or counterproductive. Revenue from other levies is to be included in the state budget so that the government can decide on further redistribution.

Greek taxpayers have to pay an estimated 500 million euros because of these less-than-transparent charges, according to reports.

The vast majority of existing charges – 93 of them – were introduced with the aim of collecting cash for various social security funds, while the money brought in from 25 goes to various legal unions.

“The structure and manner in which these levies have been imposed is extremely complicated, and this effectively raises the cost of managing the tax system at large,” an official at the Finance Ministry told Kathimerini on condition of anonymity.

“Most of the quasi-fiscal charges were introduced in order to secure institutionalized financial support for various funds, organizations and institutions in an indirect manner and, often, without Parliament’s control,” the official said.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday September 7, 2013 (18:39)  
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