The Finance Ministry is prolonging taxpayers’ uncertainty regarding this year’s retail receipts, making contradictory statements that merely confuse Greeks as to whether they should hold on to their receipts or not.
At the end of last year Alternate Minister Tryfon Alexiadis announced that only receipts for payments via credit and debit cards would need to be collected, but the ministry has not yet presented any concrete plan to that effect and it remains unknown when the relevant bill to clear the situation will be tabled in Parliament.
On Tuesday Alexiadis told Antenna TV that taxpayers will need to collect 2016 receipts in cases where a tax-free threshold can apply. However, he also said that a clause will be tabled in Parliament on issues relating to the tax-free threshold and suggested that taxpayers wouldn’t have to hang on to receipts as banks would forward all transaction data to the ministry.
The minister said that for taxpayers to qualify for the maximum tax-exempt amount, all expenditure would be summed up, whether this was conducted via cards or via the Internet, but when asked about the sum of receipts required for an exempt amount he asked for patience until the bill reaches Parliament.
It is clear that the clauses on receipts will not come to Parliament before the completion of the first bailout review, as the tax-exempt amount is inextricably linked to the new set of tax rates to apply on this year’s incomes, yet to be agreed on with the country’s creditors. A senior ministry official said that the government has presented a new tax rate proposal to the creditors and there are adjustments currently being made to it, stressing that the proposal was only the basis for negotiations.
Despite Alexiadis’s various remarks, at the moment, according to the law, taxpayers have no obligation whatsoever to collect receipts to justify their 2016 incomes, as was also the case for last year’s incomes.