The gradual reopening of retail commerce and the advent of spring – which should prevent another lockdown in the market – is compelling the Finance Ministry to retrieve shelved plans for incentives to taxpayers to demand receipts for their transactions.
Officials are concerned that tax evasion will skyrocket in the wake of such a long closure of the market that saw thousands of shops and food service establishments shuttered for months on end, as some companies seek to make up for lost time by not issuing legal receipts.
Sources say the ministry is going to put back on the table certain scenarios for winnings of more than 100,000 euros in lottery draws for taxpayers making online transactions. The idea is to have fewer winners getting more cash each time.
One of the scenarios provides for restrictions on the transactions that will qualify for entering the monthly lottery. The government is considering allowing only transactions with businesses that have a high tax evasion track record, such as hairdressers, car repair shops, gyms, lawyers and doctors. That means anyone hoping to land the jackpot – which could reach or exceed €100,000 (against just €1,000 today) – would need to ensure they have receipts from such transactions.
Other ideas for cracking down tax evasion an helping state’s revenues recover after the shock of the pandemic include:
– Adding real estate assets that have been confiscated by the ministry to the lottery’s prizes.
– The exemption from the taxable income of a share of online payments related to certain high-evasion sectors.
– Making some transactions with professional groups that are notorious for tax evasion count as double entries in the draw.
Notably, the government will also factor in paper receipts for reaching the spending rate of 30% of annual declared income as required by law.
According to comments by Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis on Antenna television, the plan for accepting paper receipts towards the minimum threshold of 30% of annual income (below which a fine is due) will apply as of this year, thereby concerning cash payments as well.