In just one year some 400,000 “guests” have vanished from the income tax declarations of Greek taxpayers; they used to be declared as “hosted individuals” staying rent-free in the homes of other taxpayers.
There are two reasons for this drop. The first is related to the change in the government’s handout policy, which has linked eligibility for the so-called social dividend and for cheaper electricity rates from Public Power Corporation to the “hosted individual” factor: When a guest leaves a household, this paves the way for the payment of two social dividends, one to the hosting person and one to the hosted one.
It is not surprising that this year the number of social dividend recipients has already grown far above that of last year, even though there has been no change to the income criteria used. The number of recipients have already reached almost 1.6 million, with the application process continuing until Friday, December 21.
The second factor is related to the cross-checks carried out by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, which is intended to root out false guests, or people who chose to declare they are being hosted by others in order to avoid the tax consequences of high rental payments.