Finance Ministry to seek Supreme Court guidance on tax raids

The Finance Ministry is to refer to the Supreme Court its request for the power to raid taxpayer’s homes and business without having a judicial official present.

The ministry said it had referred the matter to Greece’s top judges after Ethnos newspaper reported that the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) would seek to adopt tactics similar to that of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) in the USA.

This would allow SDOE officials to enter the homes or businesses of individuals who owe money to the state even if a prosecutor is not present. The report says that cash and properties could be immediately confiscated.

The Finance Ministry said that it asked the State Legal Council to advise whether such actions would be legal. The narrowness of the verdict (14 in favor, 10 against) prompted the Finance Ministry to seek the advice of the Supreme Court.