ECONOMY

Ministry looks at tax for Greek tranferring cash abroad

The Finance Ministry is reported to be considering imposing a tax of between 10 and 15 percent on Greeks who transferred their deposits to banks abroad from 2009 onwards.

The government has pledged to investigate the flight of capital over the last couple of years amid concerns that some Greeks have avoided paying substantial amounts of tax by moving their money abroad.

The ministry is reportedly considering targeting those who transferred more than 150,000 euros to foreign banks and have not declared the interest they have earned or were not able to justify having this money in the first place. In terms of the latter offense, officials will use the declaration of source of wealth forms (pothen esches) to crosscheck depositors? details.

It is estimated that some 18 billion euros has been transferred out of banks in Greece this year. Some 30 billion euros was taken out last year, denying Greek banks some much-needed liquidity. The money is thought to have mostly been transferred by wealth Greeks. The ministry says it is in the process of obtaining permission under data protection laws to view details of these transactions.

Last week, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos urged Greeks to bring their money back into the country, arguing that the Greek banking system is safe following the agreement for the agreement with the eurozone for a second support package, which includes funds for banks.

“All those who have also taken deposits [out of banks], who have perhaps taken them home because their savings are small, should for reasons of participation in the national effort [to revive the economy], return them to banks,» he said.