Cell phone firms warn against tax

Cell phone charges will go up on average by 7.2 percent after new taxation levies come into effect on both subscription customers and prepaid cards, according to data released yesterday by the Association of Cell Telephony Companies (EEKT). The sector’s revenues from service to customers will fall by 8.7 percent on average and its gross added value will shrink by 6.4 percent compared to before the measures were enacted. EEKT notes that the double taxation on cell phone service (both in cell charges and value-added tax) will take final taxation on services to between 32-40 percent of the bill’s total value. «In essence this amounts to doubling the tax burden,» argued EEKT, stressing that this will mainly hurt users with lower incomes. The association adds that the new taxes will force the industry into its first year of decline, as it will create counterincentives for users. That will slow the sector’s growth at a time when Greece lags in cell phone broadband expansion, while state revenues will be less than the projected 310 million euros.