By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou
Taxpayers in Greece will have to continue to collect receipts next year according to the law amendment tabled in Parliament on Friday. However, those collected will have to come to the equivalent of 10 percent of the individual’s annual income as opposed to 25 percent – which was the case until this year – in order to avoid paying a penalty.
The government’s decision to retain the receipt collection measure illustrates that despite Finance Ministry officials’ statements saying that the assets register would be brought into use, that is not the case.
The new maximum amount of receipts to be collected has been revised to 10,500 euros and there will be no bonus for the collection of receipts amounting to more than 10 percent of one’s annual income.
If the sum of receipts handed over by a taxpayer is below the required amount, a penalty equal to 22 percent of the difference will be imposed. So, for instance, if a taxpayer has an income of 20,000, they must produce receipts totaling 2,000 euros for the 2014 financial year. If the amount comes to 1,000 euros, besides the income tax, they will also have a fine imposed on them equal to 1,000 x 0.22, which means another 220 euros.
The Finance Ministry’s tabled amendment states that the types of spending whose receipts will be required will be determined and announced at a later date, along with the way the receipts will be divided between spouses, the categories of taxpayers to be exempted from the obligation and any other detail needed for the application of the receipts collection measure.
Certain categories of civil servants, such as employees at the Foreign Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Greek representation in the European Union, military staff serving abroad, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry staff, as well as the resident’s at old people’s homes, are already exempted from the requirement.