Banks call for tax­ing cash with­drawals

Kathimerini English - - Focus - YIAN­NIS PAPADOYIANNIS

Banks are propos­ing that the gov­ern­ment take a se­ries of mea­sures to com­bat tax eva­sion, which are cen­tered around re­duc­ing the use of cash in fa­vor of in­creas­ing on­line trans­ac­tions. The pro­posal that stands out con­cerns the tax­ing of cash with­drawals.

As bank ex­ec­u­tives say, cash is eas­ily chan­neled to the so-called shadow econ­omy, so im­pos­ing a tax on with­drawals would dras­ti­cally re­duce trans­ac­tions in cash and there­fore the il­le­gal econ­omy as well.

Lenders are also ask­ing for the com­pul­sory use of cards or other on­line means for all trans­ac­tions con­cern­ing pro­fes­sions where there are strong in­di­ca­tions of tax eva­sion or cash is used as the main means of pay­ment.

Credit and debit cards as well as the new tech­nolo­gies that al­low for con­tact­less trans­ac­tions, such as cell phone apps, should be pos­si­ble to use even for the small­est trans­ac­tions, from the purchase of a news­pa­per to buy­ing a bus ticket, banks ar­gue.

The il­le­gal econ­omy in Greece is es­ti­mated at some 40 bil­lion eu­ros ev­ery year, with state cof­fers los­ing out on tax rev­enues of around 15 bil­lion eu­ros per an­num.

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