Confusion continues to cloud the issue of the collection and retention of payment receipts, as the Finance Ministry on Friday called on taxpayers to hold on to receipts going back six years, while it is planning a lottery with prizes such as houses for those who collect receipts above a certain amount.
A ministry announcement said on Friday that taxpayers must hold on to all documents backing up their tax declarations for five years, meaning that they will need to retain all receipts from 2010 to 2014, as well as those from 2015 even though they will not be declared in the 2016 statement.
Taxpayers’ obligation to keep their old receipts stems from a 1994 law that demands they keep receipts and other documents for five years in case they are required during an inspection, the ministry noted.
The ministry also launched another attack on the press for reporting on the various versions of policy that the ministry is examining: “Certain press reports create confusion and misinformation regarding the issue of which receipts taxpayers should collect.” It added that it will take it upon itself to inform taxpayers, “as any other references, leaks and so on that seek to create a climate of misinformation and fear of a disaster only serve a political agenda and do not provide the objective information citizens need…”
However, it is the ministry itself that is leaking its plans for prize draws that may include houses for taxpayers who use credit or debit cards.
It has already been announced that the tax-free threshold can only be achieved with receipts from transactions conducted via non-cash payments. However, taxpayers who exceed the minimum amount of receipts will be entered into a draw for prizes that may include cars, trips and possibly houses.
For instance, a taxpayer with an annual income of 25,000 euros will be required to collect receipts adding up to 9,550 euros (38 percent of their income) to reach the tax-free threshold. If they collect receipts worth 12,000 or more, they will be eligible for the Finance Ministry lottery draws.
It appears however that pensioners aged 75 years or over will not need to collect receipts via card transactions, at least for 2016, as will also be the case for residents of remote areas who have no access to the Internet or card terminals.