Tax agency’s in­spec­tor short­age

Author­i­ties plan to sift through the last five years’ data, but are suf­fer­ing from a lack of qual­i­fied staff

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The stateis turn­ing its in­spec­tion fo­cus on the 2012-16 pe­riod, with the In­de­pen­dent Author­ity for Pub­lic Rev­enue – the for­mer Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat for Pub­lic Rev­enue at the Fi­nance Min­istry – plan­ning 23,300 checks on tax­pay­ers and cor­po­ra­tions in 2017, even though it does not have enough em­ploy­ees to con­duct them.

A num­ber of re­cent court de­ci­sions have ef­fec­tively an­nulled in­spec­tion or­ders and their re­sults as they con­cerned years af­fected by the statute of lim­i­ta­tions, and this has led the tax ad­min­is­tra­tion to fo­cus 60 per­cent of in­spec­tions on the last five years, just as in 2016.

The de­ci­sion signed by the head of the author­ity, Gior­gos Pit­silis, dic­tates that out of the 23,300 in­spec­tions there will be 3,500 full ones, which means that the tax­pay­ers and en­ter­prises con­cerned will have their en­tire set of as­sets checked, while the re­main­ing 19,800 will only be par­tial.

Those in­spec­tions will be un­der­taken by the Mon­i­tor­ing Cen­ter for Tax­pay­ers of Ma­jor Wealth and its coun­ter­part for large en­ter­prises, as well as the tax author­i­ties across the coun­try. How­ever, both the mon­i­tor­ing cen­ters and tax of­fices are suf­fer­ing from un­der­staffing prob­lems.

A se­nior Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cial says that the pri­or­ity for now is bringing the mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nism up to speed, as there are some of­fi­cials, even in key posts, who are un­fa­mil­iar with con­duct­ing in­spec­tions at en­ter­prises. In­stead they are fa­mil­iar with tem­po­rary checks (i.e. is­su­ing fines to restau­rants, night­clubs etc).

The author­ity’s data for the first 11 months of last year showed that the coun­try’s tax in­spec­tors con- 1.0385 ducted 3,201 com­plete checks and 17,742 par­tial ones. Oc­to­ber bud­get fig­ures re­vealed that leg­is­la­tion re­gard­ing fines and the pres­ence of in­spec­tors at tourist des­ti­na­tions have con­trib­uted to an in­crease in rev­enues from value-added tax: In Oc­to­ber, VAT tak­ings ex­panded by 130.69 mil­lion euros, or 8.98 per­cent, from the same month in 2015. The author­ity at­tributes this not only to the tar­geted checks in the sum­mer but also to the rise in VAT rates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.