ECONOMY

One-off takings help revenues

Three one-off factors helped the state to exceed its March income target by some 400 million euros, according to sources, as without them revenues would have recorded a 400-million-euro shortfall last month, on top of the 1-billion-euro hole which became apparent in the first two months of 2015.

March revenues received a much-needed boost of 816 million euros thanks to the following: the payment to the state of 555 million euros by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), which will not be repeated in the coming months; the collection of 114 million euros from the National Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT), which was meant to be spread out over the course of 2015 but was cashed in last month to ease the cash situation; and the payment of 147 million euros by state debtors through the express settlement program that lasted just eight days.

The Finance Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that 151,214 debtors repaid debts of approximately 147 million euros through the express settlement program, which wrote off part or all of the penalties and fines imposed on the original debts.

Data analysis shows that this was a measure which especially benefited those who owed the state large amounts of money and had the fines and penalties waived: There were 4,185 people or enterprises with debts of more than 5,000 euros each who paid a total of 79.3 million euros, or 54 percent of the money the state collected through this process. On the other hand, 147,029 small debtors (who owed up to 5,000 euros apiece) paid 67.7 million euros.

Even more impressive is the fact that there were six major debtors among those who paid their dues with debts in excess of 1 million euros each and who had been found guilty of a total of 162 tax code violations. They paid 12.3 million euros, or more than 2 million euros each on average. Notably, four of them had run up their debts before the outbreak of the crisis in 2010, meaning they had been awaiting such a favorable settlement measure to pay their dues.

Furthermore a legislative act issued late last week on the settlement of debts will also allow for the payment of fines imposed for cases of tax evasion, such as bogus invoices.