Min­istry mon­i­tors tax dead­line

Pay­ment day for a num­ber of obli­ga­tions will be a sign of tax­pay­ers’ be­hav­ior for the rest of the year

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY SOTIRIS NIKAS

The mo­ment of truth has come for the Fi­nance Min­istry, as to­day is the dead­line for the pay­ment of the first in­come tax in­stall­ment and will show the de­gree of tax­pay­ers’ re­sponse to their obli­ga­tions. Their at­ti­tude up to tonight will be a re­li­able sign of what can be ex­pected to fol­low in the rest of the year, when the Greeks must pay taxes adding up to 25 bil­lion eu­ros, in­clud­ing for new mea­sures im­ple­mented since June.

The to­tal in­come tax, payable in three tranches ev­ery two months, amounts to 3.6 bil­lion eu­ros. There­fore, by mid­night tonight state cof­fers should re­ceive a to­tal of 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros for this month, to of­fer the min­istry a much-needed cash boost.

In ap­pli­ca­tion of the mea­sures agreed last year with the coun­try’s cred­i­tors, tax­pay­ers with an­nual earn­ings of over 30,000 eu­ros must pay an ad­di­tional amount on the sol­i­dar­ity levy, while the self-em­ployed and farm­ers are fac­ing an in­creased tax de­posit for next year from 55 to 75 per­cent.

Wor­ries about the rate of re­sponse by tax­pay­ers’ to their obli­ga­tions have in­creased con­sid­er­ably this year, for the ad­di­tional rea­son of hikes on in­di­rect taxes that have eaten fur­ther into house­holds’ dis­pos­able in­comes. In the first half of the year tax­pay­ers paid an ad­di­tional 1.9 bil­lion eu­ros in taxes com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015, of which 1.6 bil­lion con­cerned in­di­rect taxes.

There is also con­cern about the col­lec­tion rate from the other new charges im­posed this year: To­day is also the dead­line for the pay­ment of value-added tax by the self-em­ployed for the sec­ond quar­ter and by large cor­po­ra­tions for June, the month when the main VAT rate 1.1090 climbed from 23 to 24 per­cent. The min­istry is ea­ger to see whether that VAT hike has ac­tu­ally led to a rise in tak­ings, or to more tax dodg­ing. June also was the first month when the 30 per­cent VAT dis­count was abol­ished for 11 Aegean is­lands.

End-Septem­ber will be an even big­ger test though, as be­sides the sec­ond in­come tax tranche dead­line, it also marks the dead­line for the first tranche of the new Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA).

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