ECONOMY

Squeezing the few for revenues

squeezing-the-few-for-revenues

For every 10 euros the tax authorities collect, half comes from 5 percent of taxpayers and the other half from the remaining 95 percent, tax data processed by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue show.

Out of Greece’s 8.9 million taxpayers, 6 million pay an average annual income tax of 92 euros per year, while those who declare earnings of more than 100,000 euros pay an average of 65,808 euros to the taxman.

The tax statements of 2018 – concerning 2017 incomes – show that 437,158 taxpayers, accounting for 4.9 percent of the total, declared incomes of 18.31 billion euros (22.77 percent of all incomes) and paid 4.1 billion euros in taxes, or 49.39 percent of all tax revenues. They are the taxpayers who declared incomes over 24,000 euros per annum.

That category of taxpayers is steadily shrinking every year, which is due to overtaxation and the high social security contributions payable, as well as tax evasion: In 2017, taxpayers who declared annual incomes of more than 24,000 euros numbered 491,009, which means that category shrank by 53,851 individuals within 12 months.

One can easily deduce the conclusion that despite the expansion of the tax base in the last decade, it is still the medium- and high-income brackets that continue to pay the country’s taxes through income tax as well as the high rates of the supposedly “extraordinary” solidarity levy. That is why the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission are demanding the tax-free ceiling be lowered from 8,650 euros per year today to 5,680 euros from 2020.

The data also revealed that the sum of 255,018 corporations declared taxable earnings of 13.36 billion euros and paid taxes adding up to 3.89 billion euros last year (for 2017).

However, 100,018 companies were loss-making and 62,255 had zero profits. Practically, the remaining 91,745 corporations bore the tax load of 3.89 billion, at an average rate of 42,500 euros per company.