Record takings from state debtors
State revenues from confiscations and debt settlements are estimated to have come to 5.5-6 billion euros in 2018, a record amount in the history of the Finance Ministry.
Seizures of bank deposits, properties, salaries and pensions have mainly hurt small debtors who were unable to meet their tax obligations. Sources speak of more than 8.5 billion euros in unpaid taxes in 2018, due to the high tax rate policy and the proliferation of extraordinary levies such as the Solidarity levy and the Single Property Tax (ENFIA).
Tax offices’ legal departments have been ordered to increase the pressure on state debtors in 2019, to convince them to enter the 12-installment payment scheme or face forced collection measures for debts of as low as 500 euros.
A senior official at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue says the high level of collections is the fruit of the tax administration’s constant reminders to taxpayers to pay their dues. Emails and telephone calls have forced many debtors to comply in recent years, he argues. However, it is the high number of confiscations of deposits and assets that have been the real game changer for overdue payments.