The inability of the Finance Ministry’s political administration to expand the online transaction requirement for the tax discount from 10 percent to 15-20 percent, over fears of taxpayer reactions, has contained the growth rate of card transactions in Greece.
Even the proposal to reduce the maximum limit of cash transactions from 500 euros to 200 euros, which would have led to a reduction of tax evasion, was abandoned for the same reason.
In a fresh effort to boost the use of plastic money, the Independent Authority for Public Revenue has now proceeded to changes in the tax lottery it conducts at the end of each month. It has increased the number of tickets issued for transactions up to 200 euros while reducing the tickets for transactions over 1,000 euros. The objective, tax administration officials say, is to give taxpayers an incentive and to raise the state’s takings. However, a limit of two winnings per calendar year has been set per taxpayer.
In his latest report, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras showed that for every percentage point of growth in online payment transactions, there is matching growth in the tax collection rate.