The Finance Ministry is planning to offer a 30 percent exemption from taxable incomes for spending on specific professional categories that display a high rate of tax evasion, in a bid to promote online transactions further.
Sources say that the ministry has asked banks for a list of the transactions made by customers online per professional sector. The professions that are not on the list of online transactions – suggesting that payments are carried out in cash and quite possibly without a receipt being issued – will be included in the expenditures that are partially exempt from the taxable income.
The ministry is hoping that the measure will encourage taxpayers to demand receipts from professionals such as doctors, engineers, tutors, financial and business consultants, accountants and lawyers, car repair shops and others who belong to sectors where cash transactions are customary. For example, if a taxpayer makes a payment of 1,500 euros via credit or debit card to a car repair shop, his or her taxable income will drop by 450 euros.
The reason the discount has been set at 30 percent is that most professionals waive the 24 percent value-added tax so that they do not have to issue a receipt, ministry officials explain.
However, this incentive scheme will not include payments to professions related to the construction sector (plumbers, electricians etc.) as there is already a 40 percent discount from the final tax applying on their case. Food services will also not count, despite the fact that the sector is among the champions of tax evasion.
The final decisions on the incentives scheme for online payments as well as on the tax lottery will be made in the next few days. In a meeting held a few days ago, one senior ministry official is said to have asked for the top prize of the tax lottery, to one or more lucky taxpayers, to be raised to 100,000 euros. The government is also pondering the exclusion from the lottery of receipts from professional sectors with low evasion rates, such a supermarkets.