Taxpayers summoned for undeclared income pay up
An estimated 200 million euros (out of the 316 million due) has been paid into the state coffers by taxpayers who have entered a favorable scheme for the revelation of hitherto concealed taxable assets such as incomes and properties. However, the majority of the 53,000 taxpayers who entered the scheme did not do so voluntarily: They were summoned by the tax authorities to explain discrepancies in their tax declarations and assets following inspections. The taxpayers who rushed to tax offices for the favorable settlement did so in order to reduce the money they would normally have to pay due to the fines imposed on them, which reach up to 120 percent of the normal tax they should have paid in the first place. In contrast, sources say, hardly any taxpayers have voluntarily gone to the tax offices to re- veal previously undeclared incomes, apart from those who had just corrected previous statements, without any meaningful benefits for the Greek state. Of course the cash collected is significant and has already hit the original target of 200 million euros. The only worry for the Finance Ministry is whether some of that will have to be returned due to the recent Council of State decision concerning the five-year statute of limitations on past tax cases.