E-tax statements for high earners

More than 1.2 million taxpayers will have to learn how to fill and submit their tax statements in electronic form by June, as the Finance Ministry is set to demand that everyone with annual incomes in excess of 15,000 euros send their forms through the Internet as of this year.

As a result, even pensioners and farmers across the country will be forced to discover the World Wide Web, as their handwritten forms will no longer be acceptable if the ministry?s intention turns into law. The aim is to have those earning over 1,100 euros per month pay their tax as early as possible. Already tax receipts for 2012 have been delayed as the ministry has put back the deadlines for the submission of statements.

The estimated 1.2 million taxpayers will receive a notice in the mail informing them that they should submit their statement electronically as of this year. They will then have to visit the website of the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS) at to collect their personal tax code.

The general secretary of the GSIS, Haris Theocharis, said on Wednesday that he expects the submission of 4 million electronic tax statements this year, up from 2.75 million in 2011. Some 800,000 self-employed taxpayers have been obliged to submit their forms electronically, with 1.2 million to be added to them this year. The rest who have been using the Internet to send their statements have acted on their own initiative.

It is clear that many will need to resort to tax experts, seeking help that will set them back by anything between 30 and 100 euros. Sources suggest, however, that the expense of a tax expert?s help could be exempt from the taxable income, although that will only count for next year?s statement.

Meanwhile, the guideline booklet issued by the Finance Ministry yesterday calls on all its agencies to go ahead with confiscation of salaries, pensions or bank accounts of taxpayers with debts to the state. Debts have to be over 5,000 euros and should not leave taxpayers with less than 1,000 euros per month when it comes to salary or pension confiscation.

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