ECONOMY

Lawyers, notaries to pay VAT

A number of professions and services hitherto exempted from value-added tax payment will likely have their status changed as of next year, according to a plan currently under study by the Finance Ministry. Banking, insurance, broadcasting and mail services as well as professions such as lawyers, notaries, writers, artists and journalists are likely to enter VAT-paying status from 2011 and the relevant clause may well be included in the tax bill that will likely be announced this Thursday. Many of the above professions are not exempt from VAT in the European Union and have gained special status in Greece via specific interventions by those professionals, contravening any sense of social justice. The ministry is also considering a new favorable arrangement for those who have not submitted their income tax and VAT statements from 1997 until the present, offering as an incentive a reduction in fines but also ensuring the state coffers some much-needed extra revenues.