ECONOMY

Online payment demand to be put on ice

online-payment-demand-to-be-put-on-ice

The government will suspend the measure that forced taxpayers to spend 30% of their annual earnings online, though only for 2020 incomes. This means that those who failed to reach the necessary quota will be spared the fines due, which normally amount to 22% of the shortfall.

Nevertheless the measure will apply as normal for this year; therefore taxpayers will have to keep making payments using debit and credit cards and over the internet.

Although the pandemic has led to a major increase in the volume of online transactions, it has also created huge problems for many population groups which can only spend on the absolutely necessary while hanging on to as much as they can to safeguard themselves from future problems.

Even though the most likely scenario provides for a horizontal exemption of all taxpayers from the 22% penalty, it is also possible that the government will use the data collected by banks to maintain the penalty while lowering the requirement to 20% or even 10% of annual incomes.

Meanwhile the process for the adjustment of property rates used for tax purposes, known as “objective values,” is within schedule, and as things stand, this year’s Single Property Tax (ENFIA) will be based on the new zone rates.

Alternate Finance Minister Thodoros Skylakakis stated on Wednesday that there will be adequate fiscal space from the review of zone rates and the addition of more areas to the objective value determination system to allow for the reduction of ENFIA dues. He added that the final decision will not be made before April or May.

Kathimerini understands that the third stage of the zone rate adjustment has already started, concerning the monitoring of areas where property surveyors have recommended vastly different rates for the same zones. This mostly concerns areas in the countryside, where there is an insufficient number of transaction contracts or comparative data, forcing surveyors to speculate over a wider range of property value estimates.

The prime minister’s office has demanded that all reforms in this field be accelerated and that the pandemic should not be used as a pretext for delays. The process of zone rate adjustment will be completed by March.

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