Gas stations to pay tax on heating fuel

The government seems to prefer the solution of the gas stations paying tax from this January as far as the leveling of taxation for diesel and heating oil is concerned. As of today heating oil will be available for sale without including an increase in tax. According to the plan studied by Deputy Finance Minister Antonis Bezas, gas station owners will undertake the supply of heating oil at the price of about 0.62 euros per liter, having bought it much more expensively from trading companies. The relevant bill will be submitted to Parliament by the end of the year. In practice, everyone in the supply chain buying heating oil will pay fuel tax of -293 per thousand liters from January 1, 2008, while consumers will only pay -21 per thousand liters. Gas station owners will receive the difference in tax from the state on the same day or up to three days later by submitting their documents to banks. Gas station owners asked Bezas to be allowed a deposit amounting to two months’ tax difference so that they do not have to spend significant funds at once, a demand which according to sources has been accepted. The two sides will meet again this Thursday to discuss again the crucial details of the plan. One of the points that concerns the Finance Ministry is the risk of reserves of heating oil being built up in the coming months. Sources suggest that in order for the tax difference to be returned to gas station owners and the autonomous traders, fuel must have cleared customs after January 1, 2008. All invoices will be thoroughly checked, ministry officials argue. This is one of the solutions proposed to overcome this obstacle. Today the Special Investigations Service (YPEE) is beginning its checks of fuel trading. On a monthly basis its investigators will perform about 3,000 checks across the country, aiming at reducing tax evasion and illegal trade in this domain. Investigators will be targeting all types of trucks, buses, tankers, et cetera. If there is tangible evidence from these checks that trading companies or gas stations have supplied trucks with heating oil or with diesel diluted with heating oil or other oil products, the checks will expand to those companies as well to investigate possible customs or tax infringements.