ECONOMY

Big shake-up in pipeline for tax offices

A Finance Ministry report aimed at improving the efficiency of the country?s revenue collection services proposes the shutting down of 213 tax offices in different parts of the country.

From the map of tax offices outlined by the study, it is obvious that the system?s structure is distorted.

In a number of cases, tax offices were not set up where they were needed according to a strategic plan, but rather in order to please local lobby groups.

The cash-strapped government plans to put its new plan, which involves keeping 75 tax offices operating across the country, into effect as of July. Apart from Attica and Thessaloniki, there will be one tax office per prefecture with the rest being shut down. Tax employees will be required to move to their prefecture?s largest city, which is where tax offices will be located. According to the study, Attica will be home to 20 tax offices, with another six in Thessaloniki. There will be a total of 49 more tax offices throughout the country.

As specified by the report, there will be no transactions with taxpayers completed at each larger tax office. All dealings with the public, including the submission of tax returns, will be completed at existing citizen information centers (KEP) or electronically via the Internet.

Payments will only be made at banks.

Among its efforts to free up tax employees for more efficient tasks, the ministry also plans to upgrade its Internet operations by 2012.