Government looks for revenue in pending tax cases

Weeks after declaring that the Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) was harassing businesses under the previous government, the newly elected conservative government is counting upon settling outstanding tax cases with enterprises in order to bring some money into the state coffers. This time, about 400,000 enterprises which were not subjected to inspections during 1999-2001 will be called upon to reveal any monies withheld from the State without suffering the normal consequences. Deputy Finance Minister Adam Regouzas is expected to announce the new round of tax settlements by May 20. The round may include 2002 corporate income declarations. Former Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis had followed the same procedure two years ago with 740,000 enterprises with cases pending from the period 1993-98, with quite a bit of success, gathering billions of euros into the state coffers. However, the present government is operating at a disadvantage: Already, some 250,000 small and medium-sized enterprises had been obliged to pay significant sums for taxes withheld during the years 1999-2001 and it is unlikely that they will be able to deliver more this time around.

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