TAXATION

Average taxpayer must work 179 days to meet obligations, report finds

average-taxpayer-must-work-179-days-to-meet-obligations-report-finds

Greek taxpayers celebrated their Tax Freedom Day on Tuesday, June 29, this year, as it took them 179 days to cover their annual obligations toward taxes and social security contributions, according to the annual report the Markos Dragoumis Center for Liberal Studies (KEFiM) published on Tuesday.

It takes Greeks just under six months to pay the 71.9 billion euros of total dues, which is twice as much as what households pay to cover their annual basic needs. Still, if one adds the deficit of the general government for 2021 that represents future taxes, then the symbolic Tax Freedom Day for this year will come 42 days later – on August 10.

The survey also found that Greeks may work a long time to pay off their taxes and social security contributions but they are not happy with the way they are taxed, as Greece has one of the lowest confidence levels in relation to the taxes imposed among the 26 countries sampled. While the tax burden in Greece is similar to that in Germany, and far above that in Sweden, Finland and Italy, the satisfaction rate of Greeks with the services offered in healthcare, education and justice is one of the lowest among the member-states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Nevertheless in the last three years there appears to have been an improvement in Greece’s record: From the 186 days of annual work it took in 2018 to cover tax and social security obligations, this dropped to 181 days in 2019, 175 in 2020 and 179 this year.

In 2021 Greeks worked 75 days for the payment of indirect taxes, 60 days to cover their social security contributions, 43 days for indirect taxes and one day for the payment of capital taxes.

Between 1999 and 2018 Greeks had to increase their working days for the state by 47 days; this is attributed to a great extent to the bailout requirements that had the state collect increased taxes. However, in social policy efficiency terms the Greeks rank 24th among 26 nations in Europe.