ECONOMY

SDOE wins battles in war on tax evasion

An Athens pharmacy that made millions from the sale of banned substances to athletes is among the numerous companies that the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) has identified for evading taxation.

In recent weeks, after the restructuring of the tax administration, inspections have intensified and are progressing according to plan, and not just based on complaints as was the case in previous years.

As a result, the latest batch of offenders that SDOE found in September includes several offshore companies, 36 pawnshops and a pharmacy that did not declare its revenues of 2.75 million euros from selling illegal drugs to athletes. In another notable case, an offshore company based at Kranidi in the eastern Peloponnese will have to pay property taxes of 9.6 million euros for the years 2003 to 2013, as its owner illegally had registered all of his real estate as company properties to avoid paying tax. SDOE has also temporarily confiscated 92 luxury cars as the squad investigates whether their owners have outstanding tax or customs debts.

The Finance Ministry’s aim is to show Greece’s creditors that its agencies can combat tax evasion and collect over 400 million euros in revenues next year to help cover part of the projected fiscal gap.