ECONOMY

Receipt collection to be enforced and encouraged

Following strong reactions from all political parties the Finance Ministry said that it will reinstate compulsory receipt collection only a few days after reports suggested that it would be scrapped.

Speaking at Parliament’s Financial Committee on Thursday, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras confirmed that the measure encouraging taxpayers to collect receipts would continue. He added that an amendment will be tabled in September, and that it would also contain incentives. The measure is not included in the income tax code that is to be voted into law within the next few days and to apply to revenues from 2014 onward.

Taxpayers still need to collect receipts this year for submission in 2014 equal to 25 percent of their annual revenues, with a ceiling at 60,000 euros. In the case that they do not collected enough, they will pay a fine equal to 22 percent of the shortfall from the amount required.

According to sources, the incentives that the ministry is considering offering taxpayers so that they demand receipts for their purchases include a 10 percent discount on the value-added tax they pay when using credit, debit or the so-called receipts cards, as well as lotteries with prizes that may include cars, holidays or cash. A senior ministry official told Kathimerini that various incentives aimed at increasing receipt collection will be examined by September.

Incentives will also come with obligations, though, such as the compulsory use of credit or receipt cards above a certain amount, while the ministry is also planning to lower the transaction limit on credit cards.

The ministry’s General Secretary for Revenues, Haris Theoharis, told the Digital Banking Money Conference 2013 on Thursday that the minimum threshold for compulsory transactions via credit or debit cards will be brought down from 1,500 euros to 500 euros.

Theoharis added that the state must educate consumers to use electronic payment instead of cash.