Fewer people to face prison for tax debts

The government said yesterday that taxpayers who owe less than 150,000 euros will no longer face imprisonment, upping the threshold from 30,000 euros previously, as a growing number of businesses struggle due to the global crisis. The move will provide relief to a number of business owners and self-employed professionals with debts to the tax office due to liquidity problems on the market. Indicative of the cash squeeze are the growing number of bounced checks, which rose to 2.3 billion euros in the first eight months of the year. The law, which will be applicable as of September 16, states that those who have been imprisoned for debts of under 150,000 euros can be released from prison.