ECONOMY

Taxation sting in the year’s tail

taxation-sting-in-the-year-s-tail

The government is bringing to Parliament some last-minute changes to taxes on incomes collected within 2015, via a new bill the Finance Ministry is preparing to table just before the end of the year.

Besides legalizing certain undeclared incomes and introducing the Periousiologio asset register, the new draft law will include changes to income tax rates aimed at collecting additional revenues, which Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis hinted at on Saturday.

The income tax changes will likely concern the higher income brackets, so as to reduce distortions, according to ministry officials. The interventions are expected to be small in scale, followed by radical changes in 2016.

Among the plans are the introduction of a rather low tax-free threshold for certain freelancers, and increasing the taxes of property owners who receive an income from rentals with an aim of obtaining 142 million euros more from landlords. There are also changes in store regarding the collection of receipts.

The ministry is further examining another increase in the tax imposed on farmers for their 2015 incomes in the hope of collecting an additional 32 million euros through the general increase in their tax rates.

In a separate development, Alexiadis on Monday signed a decision providing for the direct connection of enterprises with the ministry’s online Taxisnet system as of January 1, 2016. Ministry officials say everything is in place for the system to start operating and that another decision will determine what actions enterprises will have to take in January.

Sources say that the online link-up of companies’ cash registers with Taxisnet will start on a pilot basis in certain sectors such as food service, hotels etc, as well as with self-employed professionals with high tax evasion rates, such as doctors, lawyers, electricians, plumbers etc. All enterprises in Greece will eventually be connected to Taxisnet within next year, allowing the ministry to monitor all cash flows and the payment of value-added tax.