ECONOMY

Tax mechanism unable to collect 7.6 bln euros

State coffers are owed some 7.6 billion euros in tax fines imposed by courts, according to official data published on Tuesday by the General Secretariat for Information Systems (GSIS).

However, it appears that after halting payments to suppliers, contractors and others, the state is also unable to actually collect money.

The figure cited by GSIS, which equals just under 4 percent of the country?s gross domestic product, is the sum of fines that courts have ascertained following legal disputes by taxpayers who lost their cases, but which has not yet been collected.

The tax courts have ruled the state should receive fines of 8.22 billion euros, but no more than 7.5 percent of that has been collected — or 615 million euros — owing to the erosion of the tax collection mechanism through voluntary exits and retirements and the absence of electronic applications to support the process.

There also are another 170,000 tax cases pending, with the revenues that the state is hoping for amounting to 30 billion euros in total. Greece has committed itself to completing all hearings by July 2013, in line with demands by its international creditors.