IOBE pro­poses in­cen­tives for the broad­en­ing of card trans­ac­tions

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY EV­GE­NIA TZORTZI

Of­fer­ing in­cen­tives to en­cour­age Greeks to use debit and credit cards could bring any­thing be­tween 700 mil­lion and 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros into state cof­fers in the first year of their in­tro­duc­tion, a study by the Foundation for Eco­nomic and In­dus­trial Re­search (IOBE) on ex­pand­ing elec­tronic trans­ac­tions has found.

The IOBE pro­posal is for in­cen­tives to in­clude a dis­count on the price of com­modi­ties, start­ing from 1 per­cent for the pur­chase of goods and ser­vices from sec­tors with a low risk for tax eva­sion, and grow­ing up to 10 per­cent in the high-risk sec­tors, thereby max­i­miz­ing the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits from the ex­pan­sion of card trans­ac­tions.

Pre­sent­ing the study yes­ter­day, IOBE di­rec­tor gen­eral Nikos Vettas said that re­plac­ing the obli­ga­tion to col­lect re­ceipts with the obli­ga­tion to per­form elec­tronic pay­ments is a step in the right di­rec­tion, while the head of IOBE’s Macroe­co­nomic Anal­y­sis and Pol­icy Unit, Svet Danchev, re­ferred to ad­di­tional in­cen­tives that could be given to en­ter­prises, such as re­duc­ing their in­come tax or en­ter­ing them into lot­ter­ies, as has been fore­seen for tax­pay­ers.

Other pro­posed mea­sures ex­pected to boost the use of plas­tic money in­clude the manda­tory ac­cep­tance of elec­tronic means of pay­ment for trans­ac­tions in­volv­ing more than 30 eu­ros in sec­tors with a high risk of tax eva­sion, the oblig­a­tory ac­cep­tance of elec­tronic pay­ments with a sub­sidy paid for the in­stal­la­tion of card ter­mi­nals at all en­ter­prises with an an­nual turnover of more than 150,000 eu­ros in medium- to high-risk sec­tors, the sup­ply of card ter­mi­nals to all util­ity of­fices, the manda­tory use of credit trans­fers for col­lec­tions at cus­toms of­fices, and the use of elec­tronic pay­ments only at tax of­fices, ban­ning cash trans­ac­tions.

IOBE di­rec­tor gen­eral Nikos Vettas said re­plac­ing the obli­ga­tion to col­lect re­ceipts with the obli­ga­tion to per­form elec­tronic pay­ments is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

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