The suspension of tax obligations will not suffice to reverse the negative sentiment in the economy, recorded also in the tax authorities’ statistics: Within just one month, expired debts to the state grew 1 billion euros, which calls to mind the decade of the bailout program, when every year saw the creation of €12-13 billion in new debts.
According to the figures of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue for October, debts to the state increased by €1.04 billion, reaching a total of €4.94 billion for the first 10 months of the year.
The sheer number of new tax debtors is also staggering, as in just one month they increased by about 500,000, reaching 4.3 million, against 3.8 million at end-September.
This development is of particular concern for the Finance Ministry, which is seeking solutions to the problems created by the pandemic. Although the government does not want any talk of a new 120-tranche arrangement, which could see payments stop for now, the ministry is not ruling out such an option if the problems grow.
Analysis of the IAPR data shows that the accumulated debts of previous years have topped €106.7 billion; even after excluding the debts that are considered impossible to collect and amount to just some €23 billion, the sum that 4.3 million individuals and corporations owe the tax authorities is €83.6 billion.
These debtors include 1.76 million taxpayers and enterprises that are likely to see forced collection measures such as salary and bank deposit confiscations, which 1.27 million debtors have already suffered. Out of the €4.94 billion of debts created this year, €4.27 billion concerns unpaid taxes. Most of the rest concern social security contributions.
The bulk of the increase in total overdue arrears in October is from people who owe more than €1 million euros to the state; their number has grown by 151 debtors. The sum that companies owe to the state amounts to €62 billion, after climbing €691.4 million over the third quarter of this year.