Chaos in the system for tax declarations

Few taxpayers or even accountants have any idea of what is going on with tax declarations this year, as poor handling by the General Secretariat for Public Revenues, confusion in the Finance Ministry – which at the eleventh hour submitted amendments to tax legislation – and numerous mistakes on behalf of social security funds have created a state of complete chaos.

Sources say that only a few declarations have been submitted to date, just a month before the end-June deadline. At the same time, 200,000 businesses that are classified as “legal persons” are unable to submit their declarations as the online platform for that transaction has not yet opened.

Meanwhile, tax revenues are showing a shortfall of 900 million euros.

Despite the muddle, Alternate Minister Nadia Valavani was against an extension of the June 30 deadline during a recent meeting with the board of the Economic Chamber of Greece, according to the press release that followed.

Valavani denied the chamber’s request for an extension. She said there is no possibility for a change to the deadline set for the payment of the first installment of tax dues (July 31) in a way that would not affect the course of state revenues. She added that this could also meet with opposition from the country’s creditors – a reference that was obviously made arbitrarily.

Given the situation formed to date, with the numerous errors in the data already filled in the statements by the General Secretariat, the few submissions so far and the fact that the corporations are still unable to enter the online portal, there is a risk that there will be too many overdue statements submitted.

Worst of all is that the electronic system (Taxisnet) will likely not going to stand the massive volume of statement submissions next month and is certain to crash. Last year the General Secretariat had gone as far as issuing a statement asking taxpayers to submit their declaration at night so as to releive pressure on the system during the day.

As things stand, June 30 is shaping up as a particularly difficult day. It is also the deadline for all corporations, and accountants say that their statements will only be submitted on that day. This is due to a law that forces companies to pay their first tax installment upon submitting their income declaration. Given that most enterprises face huge liquidity problems, they are more than likely to leave it for the last day, at the expense of the online system.

Accountants further predict that the tax statements will continue to be submitted up to September. They believe it is impossible for more than 6 million statements to be submitted within one month, as the system cannot even handle 120,000 statements per day, let alone 200,000.

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