ECONOMY

Tax wave risks the public wrath

tax-wave-risks-the-public-wrath

The Finance Ministry is set to face the wrath of taxpayers for the first time since the January election that brought the SYRIZA-led coalition into office, due to the additional taxes citizens will be asked to pay, the increased interest rate in the 100-tranche payment scheme and the exclusion of thousands of households from the heating oil benefit.

The tax wave began on Monday with an interest rate hike from 3 to 5 percent on the installments of the payment program for people with debts to the state.

In practice, this means that the annual interest burden for someone who owes 20,000 euros will rise from 600 euros to 1,000 euros.

This concerns debtors who owe more than 5,000 euros to the state, or those owing smaller amounts unless they are taxpayers without a business activity, have real estate valued at 150,000 euros or less, and the debt that has entered the payment plan exceeds 50 percent of their annual declared income, in which case the interest will remain at 3 percent.

Up next are the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) notices that will follow on Thursday, asking property owners to pay 3.2 billion euros in just five tranches (against six last year). The first installment of the new ENFIA has an October 30 deadline, with the others set to follow at the end of each of the next four months until February 2016. The government expects to collect a minimum of 2.65 billion euros from the 2015 ENFIA, the same amount as last year.

By the end of the week the government will also have to decide whether or not to introduce a controversial value-added tax on private education. The ministry will further need to reach decisions on the road tax for 2015, that will be payable by the end of December 2015, as well as on the recipients of the heating oil subsidy, who will be considerably fewer than last year.

As for the income tax on rental revenues, the picture is not expected to become any clearer before mid-November. The government is examining the creation of a progressive set of rates for 2015 rental revenues.