Mys­tery ho­tel guests prob­ing VAT dodgers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat for Pub­lic Rev­enue is in­ves­ti­gat­ing 1,545 ho­tels as re­gards their oc­cu­pancy rates and prices. Where re­quired, the in­spec­tors will pose as guests to es­tab­lish whether what ho­tels de­clare in terms of oc­cu­pancy fig­ures and the rates they charge are fac­tual and whether the cor­rect taxes are be­ing paid.

An ex­ten­sive check on ac­com­mo­da­tion book­ing web­sites such as Book­ing.com, TripAd­vi­sor and oth­ers has al­ready been car­ried out to mon­i­tor the ho­tels’ oc­cu­pancy rates. The sec­re­tariat’s in­spec­tors have also been call­ing ho- tels, pos­ing as po­ten­tial guests, and ask­ing about avail­able rooms to find out what the av­er­age prices are.

When the first pro­vi­sional fig­ures are all in, the in­spec­tors will cal­cu­late the value-added tax due, and if any sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence with the de­clared VAT is un­cov­ered they will con­duct im­me­di­ate checks on the en­ter­prise’s books. The in­spec­tors will de­cide whether the right amount of VAT is be­ing paid and whether the tak­ings are jus­ti­fied by the book­ings.

The Tourism Min­istry is as­sist­ing the tax author­i­ties and has sent them a list of 10,114 ho­tels. The sec­re­tariat’s risk analysis sys­tem se­lected 1,545 for mon­i­tor­ing and in­spec­tions have al­ready started.

The mon­i­tor­ing process will be con­ducted in three stages, with the first start­ing to­day un­til the end of July, the sec­ond from Au­gust 1 to 15, and the third from Au­gust 16 to 31.

Risk analysis-based checks will ex­pand to other sec­tors of the econ­omy, such as con­struc­tion, hos­pi­tals, in­sur­ance and car re­pair shops, among oth­ers, in the fu­ture.

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