ECONOMY

Endurance test for taxpayers and revenues

Period until February pivotal as suspensions of debt payments during the pandemic expire

endurance-test-for-taxpayers-and-revenues

The six-month period stretching until February is seen as a test of resilience for taxpayers and companies, but also for the state as the payment of tax obligations has already begun, while the payments of levies and and debts suspended during the pandemic will gradually start too.

Indicatively, the amount to be paid by February 2022 amounts to about 7.2 billion euros, not including other liabilities that are suspended, such as loans and checks, which amount to about 35 billion euros.

As a result anxiety is pervasive among the financial staff who monitor all sources of income on a daily basis, from income tax, electronic transactions and value-added tax to debt settlements.

Meanwhile concerns are growing about the accumulated overdue income tax debts of natural and legal persons, but also of the Single Property Tax (ENFIA).

According to July data, the level of overdue debts reached very close to those of the pre-pandemic era, before the current taxes began to be paid and before the suspension of payment of taxes expires at the end of the year.

Nonetheless, the Finance Ministry states that the revenues are within the set targets, while expressing concern about the September-November quarter. 

However, September data show an increase of electronic transactions by 30% compared to the corresponding month in 2019.

But the difficulties will not cease at the end of the year as 2022 will usher in a period of repayment of pandemic debts, deferred taxes and government loans, while a number of taxpayers will have begun to pay off their deferred loans. At the same time, checks, which are estimated at the amount of 4 billion euros, are also maturing.

Tellingly, a large chunk of increased deposits to the tune of 30 billion euros accumulated during the pandemic will go toward the repayment of taxes and loans. 

According to estimates by Finance Ministry officials, the cheap state loans have not been used by many companies and professionals and have instead been deposited in banks. The same officials said that by the end of the year, these amounts will be withdrawn from bank accounts, while it is already established that business loans were repaid through state loans.