Con­fu­sion over re­ceipt col­lec­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The prime min­is­ter and the Fi­nance Min­istry are con­cerned over leaks re­gard­ing a mea­sure for col­lect­ing re­ceipts from the pay­ment of goods and ser­vices as new ideas for com­bat­ting tax eva­sion are be­ing ham­mered out, ac­cord­ing to sources.

The gov­ern­ment has had to go back to the draw­ing board on the is­sue of re­ceipts af­ter the orig­i­nal plan by the Fi­nance Min­istry for just 50 per­cent of the value of re­ceipts from en­ter­prises not as­so­ci­ated with eva­sion – such as su­per­mar­kets, depart­ment stores and gaso­line sta­tions – to be taken into ac­count upon the sub­mis­sion of the in­come tax state­ment, pro­voked strong re­ac­tions.

A se­nior Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day that the pro­posal for cal­cu­lat­ing only half of the value of re­ceipts from such busi­nesses has been aban­doned on the or­der of min­is­ter Yan­nis Stournaras. Min­istry of­fi­cials have since sub­mit­ted var­i­ous ideas and the gov­ern­ment is ex­pected to is­sue a de­ci­sion within the com­ing weeks – fol­low­ing the prime min­is­ter’s ap­proval – over which re- ceipts will count to­ward form­ing a tax-free level to one’s in­come.

One of the ideas be­ing mulled by the min­istry is ex­empt­ing pen­sion­ers from the mea­sure, mean­ing they might not have to col­lect re­ceipts rep­re­sent­ing up to 10 per­cent of their in­come this year. Their ex­emp­tion will be de­cided if the min­istry or­ders that not all re­ceipts will be in­cluded, with a pref­er­ence to re­ceipts from pro­fes­sional cat­e­gories that rank high in the tax eva­sion league.

Another sce­nario pro­vides for the main­te­nance of the ex­ist­ing sys­tem, but with far fewer re­ceipts than in 2013. Ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion passed for 2014 in­comes, tax­pay­ers will have to col­lect re­ceipts equal to 10 per­cent of their an­nual in­come, down from 25 per­cent that ap­plied up to 2013. Fail­ure to do so may re­sult in a fine.

Greece’s cred­i­tors have re­peat­edly pushed the gov­ern­ment to find ways to con­tain tax eva­sion by doc­tors, lawyers and most self­em­ployed pro­fes­sion­als. In this con­text the min­istry is set to is­sue a cir­cu­lar in the com­ing days de­scrib­ing all the cat­e­gories of ex­pen­di­ture tax­pay­ers must col­lect re­ceipts for, and which ex­penses are ex­empt.

reg­u­la­tion passed for 2014 in­comes, tax­pay­ers will have to col­lect re­ceipts equal to 10 per­cent of their an­nual in­come.

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