Seizures from accounts fail to make dent

Seizures from accounts fail to make dent

The seizure of 151,000 bank accounts by tax authorities has yielded lower revenue than expected, according to the Hellenic Federation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE).

In a letter sent Tuesday to the Finance Ministry, ESEE outlined the need for business accounts to be protected from seizure and requested an improved version of the scheme which allows debts to the state to be repaid in 100 installments, while acknowledging that the government was under pressure to find 5 billion euros by the end of the year as part of the country’s third memorandum.

ESEE highlighted that despite thousands of bank accounts being seized every month, the revenues were negligible. While account seizures have increased 30 percent compared to last year, the average amount obtained through such measures in the first half of 2016 was 530 euros per bank account.

According to ESEE, from about 151,000 bank account seized, the Greek state barely raised 80 million out of the 92 billion euros owed to the state, with 97 percent of the sums seized under 3,000 euros.

ESEE proposed measures such as allowing seized company accounts to continue basic business functions, linking these accounts to consumer card payments and basing the seizable amount on the previous year’s business.

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