Cash registers to get online link to TAXISnet

The ministerial decisions allowing for the online connection of shops? and companies? cash registers with the Finance Ministry?s TAXISnet electronic system will be signed in the next few days as part of the government?s ongoing battle against tax evasion.

Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Mavraganis is set to sign the two decisions required, which will also include the technical specifications needed for the interconnection. Once the companies producing the cash registers are ready, the online connection process will start, according to one ministry official.

Having approved of the technical specifications of the project, the European Commission recently gave the green light for the interconnection of wholesale and retail companies? cash registers with the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS), which operates TAXISnet.

The online link between companies and the Finance Ministry will mean that the payment and receipt of value-added tax will be conducted in real time, putting an end to the VAT statements that enterprises are currently required to submit on a regular basis. The online connection will credit VAT directly to the state?s accounts.

Ministry officials argue that once the project is complete, it will put an end to the issuing of bogus invoices and tax evasion will be contained as the new system is far more effective than those used nowadays. They base their conviction on the fact that at the very moment a company issues a receipt, the Finance Ministry will be informed of the transaction in real time, meaning the GSIS will be able to have a full picture of the transactions of every enterprise. They add that when the tax authorities inspect enterprises? books and cash registers, it will be easy to establish whether they have issued any bogus invoices or fewer receipts than they should have done.

At the same time, with the full records of sales at their disposal, Finance Ministry agencies will be able to perform extensive cross-checking regarding the stated profits of enterprises and even keep an eye on what taxpayers have been spending their money on.

Meanwhile the ministry is also preparing a bill to speed up the issuing of fines for tax evasion in another effort to increase revenues from taxation. The clause in the pipeline will provide for inspectors of the Financial Crimes Squad to proceed immediately to the issue of fines or additional taxes and surcharges after establishing cases of evasion. This will eliminate the delay caused by sending their reports to tax authorities for the latter to issue the fines, a process that now takes up to one month.

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