A large-scale operation to halt tax evasion got under way over the weekend on Myconos, and is to continue through tomorrow, with dozens of tax inspectors fanning across the popular resort island to crack down on offenders and planning to move on to Paros, Santorini and Rhodes in the coming days.
A total of 56 officials have been sent to Myconos as part of an operation originally code-named “Bat” (because the inspectors arrived overnight to avoid fueling tension with locals) but renamed “Trident” because of the three-pronged focus of its inspections.
The inspections extend to all types of business on the island, from hotels and providers of water sports activities and beach loungers to nightclubs and tour operators.
The operation was launched on Sunday at the initiative of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) and with the assistance of the financial police.
One thrust involves inspectors auditing a business for a whole day – rather than simply conducting the inspection and then leaving – and then comparing the takings to those declared for previous days. In the event of large discrepancies in takings, fines will be imposed on the business in question.
Inspectors are also on the hunt for cash registers that have been tampered with amid indications that many businesses rely on software to falsify electronic records for the purpose of tax evasion.
A third prong of the inspections involves checking whether a business has any overdue debts to the state that are not being repaid in installments. Businesses with such debts will have their daily takings confiscated, which is why the inspectors are accompanied by a bailiff.
On Sunday, Trident inspectors detected a rigged sales register in the village of Ornos and also seized the takings at a well-known Italian restaurant in lieu of tax debts.
Similarly, when inspectors determined that Nammos, an upscale establishment located on Psarou beach, owed 4 million euros to the tax office, the company that operates it repaid the sum immediately.