Clubs to be shut down for cooking books

Nightspots, restaurants and bars have come under scrutiny from tax collection services as the Finance Ministry steps up efforts to catch tax dodgers and boost state revenues. According to data presented by the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), 25 businesses in the sector will be shut down in coming days after being found to have cheated the tax man. During the April-May period, SDOE conducted 802 audits on businesses in the industry, up from 501 in the same period a year earlier. The checks uncovered 23,031 tax law violations, versus 860 last year. In a meeting with SDOE officials yesterday, Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou said that increasing tax rates for workers and businesses is not the only way to improve state finances. ‘We cannot keep increasing the tax burden placed on Greek taxpayers. [Higher revenues] need to come about from reinstating a feeling of fairness in the tax system,’ he said.