ECONOMY

Tax inspectors go for the big fish

tax-inspectors-go-for-the-big-fish

Greece’s tax authorities are embarking on the relentless pursuit of tax dodgers in 2020, with tens of thousands of checks scheduled to take place this year by the country’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue. The inspections will focus on on-site checks, which will mainly concern major enterprises and taxpayers with large incomes, according to two decisions by IAPR director Giorgos Pitsilis as published in the Government Gazette.

The first decision provides for Services for Investigations and Safeguarding of Public Revenue (YEDDE) to conduct at least 670 investigations and 17,720 on-site checks, including transfer inspections. The corresponding figures in 2019 were 620 investigations and 16,000 on-site checks.

The YEDDE objective is to seek, identify and combat tax evasion and smuggling. In effect YEDDE is the rapid-response force of the tax authorities, as, beyond the typical cross-checking of the accuracy of tax declarations, its role extends to identifying the individuals and corporations that are suspected of involvement in tax dodging. YEDDE agents conduct surprise checks at the professional premises not only of the taxpayers under investigation but also of the individuals or entities that have had transactions with them (or even at their homes provided there is a prosecutor’s order).

The second decision provides for the Large Enterprises Inspection Center, the Large Wealth Taxpayers Inspection Center and A Class Tax Offices to implement a total of 25,100 full or partial tax inspections this year. The planning is for at least 70 percent of checks to concern cases from the last five years, and three-quarters of that share to constitute inspections regarding the last three years.

As of this April the IAPR will have an extra tool to monitor taxpayers, with the obligatory activation of online books for all enterprises and freelance professionals. At the same time, electronic pricing will begin, so that this gradually becomes obligatory too, giving tax authorities full access to companies’ price lists.