Taxpayers use a wide variety of loopholes


Thousands of taxpayers have found loopholes to avoid declaring all of their incomes and assets to the tax authorities, official data show.

By transforming enterprises from personal ones to legal entities of all kinds, by breaking down their incomes among more tax registration numbers, by making deals with their employers under the nose of the tax authorities and through property transfers to relatives or from companies to taxpayers, many Greeks have reacted to the government’s decision to tax their incomes with rates that in some cases exceeded 50 percent.

On property taxation, owners use the “breakdown” of ownership (usually between bare ownership and usufruct) as a method used by those who are forced to pay the supplementary property tax for ownerships that exceed the 200,000-euro threshold.

Notably the total income of households who earned more than 50,000 euros each in 2016 (declared this year) declined by over 500 million euros from 2015.

Such “defensive” moves against the tax assault have come like an avalanche and authorities fear that the declarations of this year’s incomes in 2018 will reflect an even higher decline in earnings than the 20 percent recorded in this year’s statements.