Long queues as tax deadline nears

Despite the growing political uncertainty, thousands of Greeks are scrambling to meet the deadline for tax payments, set for the end of the year.

There were lengthy lines of people at post offices, banks and tax offices on Monday as taxpayers are supposed to have paid their road tax, installments for income tax and single property tax as well as any outstanding debts they may have to the state by Wednesday.

If the same queues are observed today, the Finance Ministry is likely to grant a few days’ for the payment of road tax so that vehicle owners will not have to pay the fine, which amounts to the same as the tax itself.

Still, many taxpayers have chosen to pay all their tax dues, as ministry data show that in the first 11 months of the year the shortfall in tax revenues amounted to 678 million euros.

There are fears within the government that this may swell over the last month of the year, with ministry officials estimating that the shortfall will amount to 1.5 billion euros by year’s end. It will be very difficult in any case for the state to collect the 6.07 billion euros from taxpayers that the budget has set as a target for December.