The Finance Ministry is set to review the use of taxpayers’ asset data to establish the real level of their incomes – known as “tekmiria” – at least for the 2020 financial year. The reason for this is to avoid thousands of taxpayers having to pay taxes on nonexistent revenues as the financial crisis resulted in last year’s incomes dropping – steeply in many cases.
Alternate Minister Thodoros Skylakakis told ANT1 TV on Wednesday that a large section of the population has suffered a disproportionate blow, and noted that the government does have a sense of justice and realizes that something must be done.
Sources say the ministry is considering a number of scenarios: One of them provides for the complete exemption from the tekmiria of all taxpayers and corporations affected by the pandemic. The deactivation of the tekmiria will concern workers who were in furlough last year, and professionals and personal enterprises whose turnover declined significantly.
According to a ministry official, this measure is considered necessary as there is the risk that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who suffered major revenue losses in 2020 due to the pandemic and the two lockdowns will be unable to cover the requirements of the tekmiria and face tax dues for incomes they never had. The same official adds that the intervention will exempt taxpayers who have not been hurt by the crisis, such as civil servants, pensioners and private sector workers whose contracts were not suspended.
The second scenario foresees property assets and vehicles not being included in the tekmiria of those hurt by the crisis, while there is also a scenario for a horizontal freeze on the measure for all taxpayers, ahead of its abolition as the government had pledged in 2019.
In 2019, 1.9 million taxpayers were caught in the tekmiria trap and forced to pay taxes for additional revenues of 6.7 billion euros, amounting to about €140-150 million. According to law, in case a taxpayer’s declared income falls short of their estimated income based on the objective spending that their assets would entail, they must pay extra tax.