Tax wave risks the pub­lic wrath

New obli­ga­tions to the state will hit tax­pay­ers, debtors and the poor in the com­ing weeks and months

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The Fi­nance Min­istry is set to face the wrath of tax­pay­ers for the first time since the Jan­uary elec­tion that brought the SYRIZA-led coali­tion into of­fice, due to the ad­di­tional taxes cit­i­zens will be asked to pay, the in­creased in­ter­est rate in the 100tranche pay­ment scheme and the ex­clu­sion of thou­sands of house­holds from the heat­ing oil ben­e­fit.

The tax wave be­gan yes­ter­day with an in­ter­est rate hike from 3 to 5 per­cent on the in­stall­ments of the pay­ment pro­gram for peo­ple with debts to the state.

In prac­tice, this means that the an­nual in­ter­est bur­den for some­one who owes 20,000 eu­ros will rise from 600 eu­ros to 1,000 eu­ros.

This con­cerns debtors who owe more than 5,000 eu­ros to the state, or those ow­ing smaller amounts un­less they are tax­pay­ers with­out a busi­ness ac­tiv­ity, have real es­tate val­ued at 150,000 eu­ros or less, and the debt that has en­tered the pay­ment plan ex­ceeds 50 per­cent of their an­nual de­clared in­come, in which case the in­ter­est will re­main at 3 per­cent.

Up next are the Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA) no­tices that will fol­low on Thurs­day, ask­ing prop­erty own­ers to pay 3.2 bil­lion eu­ros in just five tranches (against six last year). The first in­stall­ment of the new ENFIA has an Oc­to­ber 30 dead­line, with the oth­ers set to fol­low at the end of each of the next four months un­til Fe­bru­ary 2016. The gov­ern­ment expects to col­lect a min­i­mum of 2.65 bil­lion eu­ros from the 2015 ENFIA, the same amount as last year.

By the end of the week the gov­ern­ment will also have to de­cide whether or not to in­tro­duce a con­tro­ver­sial value-added tax on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion. The min­istry will


1.1333 fur­ther need to reach de­ci­sions on the road tax for 2015, that will be payable by the end of De­cem­ber 2015, as well as on the re­cip­i­ents of the heat­ing oil sub­sidy, who will be con­sid­er­ably fewer than last year.

As for the in­come tax on rental rev­enues, the pic­ture is not ex­pected to be­come any clearer be­fore mid-Novem­ber. The gov­ern­ment is ex­am­in­ing the cre­ation of a pro­gres­sive set of rates for 2015 rental rev­enues.

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