ECONOMY

More time to pay up taxes

Small and medium-sized enterprises and professionals can still avoid a thorough investigation of their records if they agree by March 31 to pay a fine for undeclared income earned between 1993 and 1998, the Economy and Finance Ministry is expected to announce today. The announcement will follow a morning meeting, to be presided by the minister, Nikos Christodoulakis, during which final decisions on the subject will be made. It is expected that the income ceiling for eligible professionals will be set at 25 million drachmas (73,630 euros). It is the second time the ministry has tried to squeeze taxes from those it considers to be tax evaders. The fines will be 15-30 percent higher than the taxes that would normally be paid. The government is keen to generate additional revenue, especially since spending on the 2002 budget appears to have got out of control and a huge debt needs financing.