ECONOMY

Tax inspectors to probe web

tax-inspectors-to-probe-web

Some 1.2 million freelance professionals and small companies are set to come under the lens of the tax authorities, which will be scrutinizing their last five years of activity, as the head of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue Giorgos Pitsilis has issued a decision setting new criteria concerning their monitoring.

Inspectors will not only focus on conventional sales since 2014 but also those made online. The scrutiny will extend to the number of members or friends of an enterprise and comments and reviews on websites and social platforms such as Facebook. It will even include electronic payment services such as Paysafe, Paypal etc, as well as any connections between card terminals (POS or e-POS) and foreign banks.

In the preparation stage before each inspection, officers will examine whether all necessary declarations have been submitted for all types of taxation and whether any tax violations have been committed. Tax officers must also collect any cross-checked data and other information from businesses, banks and other agencies and authorities, plus any data concerning fake tax data. Furthermore, they will have to investigate whether bank secrecy can be lifted so they can collect data concerning the overall picture of the taxpayer or company under investigation from existing information systems.

Crucially, the new guidelines include the collection of existing data on the internet that could provide additional information about the online activity of each inspection target. If a suspected tax violator has conducted online transactions, tax officers will have to probe whether any other websites are related to the individual or entity in question, the cost of their presence and activity on the internet, including their advertising, the existence of any agreements or contracts with courier companies, the process followed for receiving and recording orders and payments, and the forwarding of products or the provision of services.