Bid to at­tract un­de­clared cash abroad

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece is plan­ning to hold talks with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the troika, who will be in Athens from to­day for the lat­est re­view of the coun­try’s fis­cal ad­just­ments pro­gram, on the idea of of­fer­ing in­cen­tives to Greeks to bring their un­de­clared money back from abroad.

Kathimerini un­der­stands the government wants to cre­ate a scheme whereby Greeks with de­posits abroad pay a rel­a­tively small fine to bring funds back as long as it is for in­vest­ment pur­poses. The government wants to en­sure such an ini­tia­tive is not per­ceived to be a form of amnesty for tax evaders, so apart from link­ing the in­cen­tive to in­vest­ment in the Greek econ­omy, it also plans to an­nounce it at the same time as the cre­ation of Greece’s first as­sets reg­is­ter, which will be used as a tool to clamp down on tax dodgers.

How­ever, it is not clear if the troika will ac­cept such a pro­posal. In Novem­ber, the government had pro­posed that Greeks seek­ing to repa­tri­ate un­de­clared earn­ings pay a fine amount­ing to 8 per­cent of the to­tal to avoid any fur­ther le­gal ac­tion or penal­ties. The troika re­jected the sug­ges­tion. EU Task Force of­fi­cials had sug­gested at the time that such a mea­sure could only be ac­cepted if Greece’s tax in­spec­tion sys­tem was able to pur­sue all those with un­de­clared as­sets who did not take up the amnesty of­fer.

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