ECONOMY

Greeks set to face tax barrage

Greek taxpayers face a daunting raft of obligations this fall as, on top of the tough measures introduced in previous years, the government will add a new tax and social security burden totaling 2.69 billion euros. Consequently the year’s second half, and especially September, will be tough for both citizens and enterprises, as they will have to pay taxes amounting to 13.7 billion euros in a short period of time while their taxpaying capacity will be reduced.

In September, Greek households will have to pay their second tranche of income tax and the single property tax (ENFIA) while coping with an increase in indirect taxation through value-added tax hikes and social security contributions. At the same time, the thousands who have entered schemes to pay off expired debts will also have to find the money to make their installments.

Greek corporations face a similar situation, as well as having to pay increased social security contributions for their employees. Also, besides the tax on their earnings, firms with more than 500,000 euros of profits last year will have to pay a total of 945 million euros this year as an extraordinary levy. In addition they must plan to pay another 405 million euros next year as the latter part of the extraordinary levy.

What is even worse for many companies is that it was just a few days ago that they completed and published their financial reports, and some had even distributed dividends, not knowing that they would be asked to pay additional taxes in the coming months. It is therefore obvious that no citizen or enterprise in Greece can plan ahead unless they simply take it for granted that each year they will have to factor in some extraordinary levy to the state’s benefit.

Taxpayers with annual revenues of at least 30,000 euros will also have to shoulder an increase in the solidarity tax, to say nothing of the tax hikes for owners of cars of more than 2,500 cc, swimming pools, yachts more 10 meters long etc.