Rev­enue agency checks Greek as­sets abroad

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat for Pub­lic Rev­enue has be­gun iden­ti­fy­ing prop­er­ties owned by Greek tax­pay­ers in 84 other coun­tries which co­op­er­ate with the Greek au­thor­i­ties in a data ex­change sys­tem. The sec­re­tariat’s agen­cies have al­ready started draw­ing in­for­ma­tion from other Euro­pean Union states and by the end of 2017 they ex­pect to have com­pleted their mon­i­tor­ing of Greek-owned real es­tate in Europe.

A key aim of the tax au­thor­i­ties is to find prop­er­ties abroad which Greek tax­pay­ers make an in­come from by rent­ing them out. Greek law dic­tates that if the in­come tax rate (from such leases) in the coun­try where the prop­erty is lo­cated is be­low the Greek rate of 15 per­cent, the tax­payer has to pay the difference to the Greek state.

The sec­re­tariat also wants to es­tab­lish if prop­er­ties abroad were ac­quired through money not de­clared in Greece. In cases where the statute of lim­i­ta­tions does not ap­ply, tax­pay­ers will be sum­moned to ex­plain any dis­crep­an­cies. If the tax­payer is found to have acted il- legally, this will be fol­lowed by the forced col­lec­tion of taxes and penal­ties due.

Be­sides data on prop­erty held by Greeks abroad, the 84 in­ter­na­tional tax au­thor­i­ties will also ex­change data with their Greek coun­ter­parts re­gard­ing se­cu­ri­ties, bank ac­counts, in­sur­ance poli­cies, gross amounts of in­ter­est, div­i­dends and other in­comes, as well as rev­enues from the sale or buy­outs of fi­nan­cial as­sets.

Greek au­thor­i­ties in­tend to fo­cus in par­tic­u­lar on the mon­i­tor­ing of loans and stocks owned by tax­pay­ers in or­der to iden­tify cases of un­de­clared in­comes.

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