SDOE spots tourism tax dodgers

One in every two enterprises inspected across Greece by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) over the June 21-24 long weekend was found to be withholding tax payments. Checks were conducted at tourism resorts around the country and violations were identified in 381 enterprises.

Inspectors performed 841 checks at destinations including Santorini, Paros, Antiparos, Myconos, Crete, Thasos, Corfu, Lesvos, Skyros, Halkidiki, Platamonas, Rhodes, Loutraki, Kyparissia, Kalamata, Parga, Skopelos, Skiathos and Pylos.

Almost half of all the businesses were found to be failing to issue receipts, not paying VAT to the state or being in violation of other tax regulations, with the violation rate amounting to 45.3 percent.

The highest rate of violations was identified at Pilio in central Greece, with eight out of every 10 entrepreneurs (83 percent) breaking the tax code. In Corfu the rate stood at 77.7 percent, on Paros at 61.9 percent, on Santorini and Evia at 60 percent, in the Peloponnese at 46 percent, on Myconos, Skiathos and Skopelos at 42 percent, on Rhodes at 36 percent, on Lesvos at 34 percent, in Halkidiki at 32 percent, at Parga at 30 percent and on Crete at 27 percent.

SDOE has drafted a strategic plan for the summer season, up to September 15, for the monitoring of all types of enterprises active in the tourism sector. It said in a statement that its aim is to beat tax evasion, to protect consumers from dangerous food and drinks, and to contain undeclared labor.

The Financial Crimes Squad will also try to put a stop to unfair competition and to identify luxury homes that are being leased illegally in expensive resorts on the pretext of hospitality.