Greece’s tax system swallows up investments like quicksand, in constant flux, while at the same time burdening companies with huge rates.
In the last four years the main tax laws – i.e. the income tax code, the tax procedures code, the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) – and Greek accounting standards have undergone 82 changes, with almost two changes per month.
These constant changes in the system are the biggest counterincentive for anyone thinking of investing in this country, entrepreneurs tell Kathimerini, and may well be the decisive factor behind the departure of investors and major companies that choose to relocate abroad – at great cost to both the state and the economy.
“Tax uncertainty is one of the biggest and most foolish ways of wasting money that the state has, as it comes at great cost to enterprises, just like real taxes, while it does not bring any revenues to the state,” Theodoros Fessas, the head of the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV), tells Kathimerini.
Business leaders such as Titan Cement CEO Dimitris Alexopoulos, Papastratos tobacco firm vice president Iakovos Kargarotos, and the CEO of the ELIN fuel company, Giannis Aligizakis, agree instability and high tax rates are a big problem for the economy and increase tax evasion.