ECONOMY

Tax dodgers pose as farmers to avoid paying

Thousands of taxpayers have evaded paying their dues not only by concealing their incomes but also by posing as farmers and taking advantage of favorable taxation terms.

The Finance Ministry’s inspectors discovered a multitude of cases where taxpayers who claimed income from the cultivation of fruit, vegetables and livestock, were freelancers or self-employed professionals with minimal profits or even losses from their regular occupation trying to minimize their tax obligations by claiming to be farmers.

This resulted in a sudden increase of reported revenues from agricultural activities by 1.2 billion euros within one year.

In one case, a self-employed professional who could not justify his living standards, according to the assets tax authorities use to monitor income, and in order to offset losses in the previous financial year, declared an income of just 500 euros and avoided paying the tax due for his profession, which amounted to 1,560 euros.