ECONOMY

Debts to tax office have soared

Citizens? inability to pay their increased tax obligations have led to expired debts soaring in August and September, according to Finance Ministry data published on Wednesday.

Tax debts created this year to end-September came to 10.17 billion euros, but 6.3 billion euros of that was racked up in August and September alone, when payment started for income tax and the special tax on properties, levied via electricity bills.

This particularly high figure illustrates how hard taxpayers are finding it to respond to the increased tax demands, either in the form of income tax or from VAT. The data point to a total of new and old tax debts of 53.84 billion euros. Of the debts accumulated this year, the state has only cashed in 683 million euros and has written off debts of 80 million.

In total this year, the Finance Ministry has collected expired debts of 1.58 billion euros, while the country?s commitment according to the second bailout agreement with its creditors had provided for the colection of 2 billion euros by the end of the year. Ministry officials expect debts to increase by year-end, once the invoices for the overdue property tax for 2010 and 2011 have been sent to taxpayers.