ECONOMY

Taxpayers paid over 300 mln to the state in just two days

Taxpayers paid over 300 mln to the state in just two days

Finance Ministry officials were astonished to see hundreds of millions of euros flowing into the state coffers after the announcement of the bank holiday and the imposition of capital controls. The fear of a haircut on deposits worked in favor of state revenues. Unfortunately, even that unprecedented voluntary compliance was not enough to eradicate the hole in revenues, which continues to grow.

The revenues shortfall increased in June, albeit not at the rate seen in May, when it had amounted to 1 billion euros. However the worst is yet to come: Thousands of taxpayers may have scrambled to pay their dues and a new wave of applications to settle debts to the state in up to 100 installments may have come flooding in in a bid to beat any haircut on deposits, but the omens are very negative.

The submission of income tax declarations by taxpayers and corporations came to a halt, which translates into delays in the collection of taxes this year. Furthermore, the shuttering of banks meant that the temporary increase in supermarket sales could not offset the dramatic drop in sales in virtually all other sectors, and this will be reflected in the major drop in value-added tax collections.

On Friday, July 5, just two days before the referendum, tens of thousands of taxpayers rushed to pay their tax obligations despite the extension that had been granted. As a result the state collected more than 200 million euros in one day, just a week after the capital controls had been imposed.

The day after the referendum, and with banks still closed, uncertainty prevailed over a deal with the country’s creditors. Even then taxpayers directed another 100 million euros into the public coffers. So, in just two days, more than 300 million was paid to the state just as the General Accounting Office was desperately seeking the 550 million euros needed to pay civil servants for the first half of July. The bulk of payments came via e-banking and ATMs, while other taxpayers chose the option of paying at tax and post offices.

However, quite a few taxpayers went for the original solution ofn choosing to pay the tax authorities more than they actually owed, leaving them with a credit surplus on the online Taxis system. Ministry officials explained that taxpayers are allowed to take that option, but cannot claim the cash back. What they can do is use that credit surplus to pay future taxes.