Frozen sums of­ten are far above debts

Kathimerini English - - Focus - TAS­SOS TELLOGLOU

Tax au­thor­i­ties, es­pe­cially those re­spon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing large en­ter­prises and wealthy tax­pay­ers, of­ten pro­ceed to freez­ing and con­fis­cat­ing as­sets in bank ac­counts that are many times higher than the amount owed to the state by the debtor, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

Such overzeal­ous­ness in forced mea­sures on debtors’ as­sets has also be­come quite fre­quent, re­cent cases show. For in­stance, in the case of a tax­payer in north­ern Greece in­spected for eva­sion amount­ing to 1.2 mil­lion eu­ros, the tax au­thor­i­ties have frozen his ac­counts with con­tents of 6.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

Then there’s the case of a depart­ment store chain where the state im­posed tax re­quire­ments of 3 mil­lion eu­ros and au­thor­i­ties froze ac­counts adding up to 21 mil­lion eu­ros, lead­ing the en­ter­prise to fi­nan­cial suf­fo­ca­tion as it it un­able to pay its sup­pli­ers, em­ploy­ees, val­ueadded tax dues and other obli­ga­tions.

Th­ese huge dis­crep­an­cies orig­i­nate from accounting dif­fer­ences in the cal­cu­la­tion of the value of real es­tate as­sets that host the chain’s stores.

“The men­tal­ity is: I’ll keep your bank ac­counts frozen un­til you pay up,” ex­plains a re­tired judge of the Coun­cil of State.

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