Tax evaders to have accounts seized

Tax evaders could find their bank deposits seized up to the amount they owe to the state if their debt from the non-payment of value-added tax exceeds 150,000 or they have issued fake tax documents valued at over 300,000 euros.

Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis told Skai TV on Thursday that the relevant authorities have been instructed to seize the amount that account holders are suspected of owing to the state.

The minister said that this would happen not just before suspected tax dodgers go on trial but also before they are informed of impending action, due to fears that this would allow them to transfer their deposits abroad. They will, instead, be informed up to 15 days after their deposits are seized.

The measure forms part of the new monitoring program launched by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), which has until June to perform extensive checks on the cream of taxpayers with suspicious transactions. In this context wealthier suspects face the risk of having their bank accounts opened and their properties confiscated should they be found to be evading taxes.

There are certain categories of taxpayers that will go under the SDOE microscope, following a recommendation by the country?s creditors. These categories are 150 taxpayers with very high incomes, to be checked by end-June, and another 150 by end-December; 600 self-employed by end-June and another 700 by end-December; 600 taxpayers with large real estate assets by end-June and another 700 by the end of the year; all current debtors to the state (so as to collect 1 billion euros by July 1 and 2 billion euros by January 1); new debtors (with an aim of collecting 20 percent of the amount overdue); taxpayers with confirmed tax violations (aimed at collecting 50 percent of taxes and fines imposed); and some 5,000 taxpayers who have not paid their VAT bill, to be checked by end-June as well as another 5,000 by end-December.