Tax debts soar 1.5 bln in September
The Finance Ministryis particularly concerned by taxpayers’ apparent inability or reluctance to pay their dues to the state in September, which raised their tax debts by 1.5 billion euros in just one month.
These figures, which bring the hole in the budget revenues to almost 5 billion euros, came out just as the government was preparing for its meetings with the country’s creditors.
Ministry officials attribute the growth in tax debts to three main factors: the reduction of citizens’ capacity to pay, especially the middle class, which faces an excessive tax burden; the election period, as taxpayers usually avoid paying their dues to the state ahead of a general election; and the increase in the fines imposed by the inspection squads during the summer on enterprises and the self-employed, most of which went straight into the pool of debts to the state.
It is also likely that a number of taxpayers who had entered the 100-installment payment program will stop paying their dues now that the interest rate on payments has been increased from 3 to 5.05 percent for most of them. Worse still, the numerous tax obligations left for the last quarter of the year are likely to take the bill of debts even higher by the end of 2015.
In election periods, such as that last month, taxpayers tend to avoid paying their taxes.