Fines to re­turn for fail­ure to is­sue re­ceipts

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Fi­nance Min­istry ap­pears to have re­al­ized it made a big mis­take when it stopped im­pos­ing fines on en­ter­prises which fail to is­sue re­ceipts. The growth of tax eva­sion is forc­ing the gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce stricter fines while also ordering the ac­ti­va­tion of busi­ness-clos­ing mea­sures (for up to a month) for not is­su­ing re­ceipts.

Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter Try­fon Alex­i­adis told Vima FM ra­dio yes­ter­day that in­spec­tions will in­crease to root out tax vi­o­la­tions, mainly in ar­eas pop­u­lar with tourists. The in­ter­ven­tions will pri­mar­ily con­cern fines, and will likely also see busi­nesses be­ing forced to pro­vide their cus­tomers with ma­chines for card pay­ments.

Alex­i­adis went on to ac­knowl­edge the prob­lem of very low fines for en­ter­prises that fail to is­sue re­ceipts, say­ing this will be tack­led with in­creased in­spec­tions and with leg­isla­tive in­ter­ven­tions. He did add how­ever that high fines had been tried in the past without any real im­pact on tax eva­sion.

On value-added tax tak­ings, the al­ter­nate min­is­ter stated that rev­enues were above tar­get in the first five months of the year. Alex­i­adis said that dur­ing that pe­riod VAT on the is­lands is usu­ally be­low tar­get due to low tourism num­bers, but that it is re­couped in the sum­mer. That is why, he said, VAT tak­ings from the is­lands have missed their tar­get by 9.8 per­cent in the year to endMay. For the same rea­son, the short­fall in Jan­uary-May 2015 had come to 18 per­cent, and in 2014 to 28 per­cent. How­ever, he did not ex­plain why the min­istry had not set lower tar­gets for the is­lands for the first five months of the year.

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