Un­paid taxes grow at rapid rate

Over­bur­dened tax­pay­ers have run up fresh ar­rears to the state of over 1 bil­lion eu­ros ev­ery month this year

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The short­fall in tax rev­enues looks un­likely to shrink any­time soon as hun­dreds of thou­sands of tax­pay­ers are un­able to meet their tax obli­ga­tions due to over­tax­a­tion. Data from the In­de­pen­dent Au­thor­ity for Pub­lic Rev­enue re­vealed yes­ter­day that in Au­gust alone – even be­fore the start of pay­ments for the Sin­gle Prop­erty Tax (ENFIA) – un­paid taxes amounted to al­most 1 bil­lion eu­ros.

This has al­ready been recorded in the draft bud­get for 2018, ac­cord­ing to which rev­enues will miss their tar­get by over 1.8 bil­lion eu­ros.

IAPR fig­ures showed that ex­pired debts to the tax au­thor­i­ties in­creased by 1.07 bil­lion eu­ros in Au­gust from end-July, reach­ing up to 8.55 bil­lion since the start of the year. Of that 1.07 bil­lion, 938 mil­lion eu­ros com­prises taxes that house­holds and en­ter­prises failed to pay.

Nev­er­the­less, ev­ery day the tax in­spec­tion mech­a­nism car­ries out some 700 con­fis­ca­tions of funds from bank ac­counts and other as­sets in or­der to pro­tect the state’s in­ter­ests. The IAPR data showed that 3.85 mil­lion tax­pay­ers and cor­po­ra­tions owe the state a to­tal of 98.2 bil­lion eu­ros, an amount that in­creases with ev­ery month that passes and is likely to rise above the 100-bil­lion-euro mark by the end of the year.

The IAPR an­nounced it im­ple­mented 132,452 con­fis­ca­tions from Jan­uary to end-Au­gust, and is al­lowed to carry out forced mea­sures on 1,652,508 state debtors.

The tax ad­min­is­tra­tion man­aged to col­lect some 3.15 bil­lion eu­ros in the first eight months of the year through that avalanche of con­fis­ca­tions from 971,508 state 1.1856 debtors up to Au­gust 31 and var­i­ous debt re­pay­ment plans. That breaks down to 1.97 bil­lion from old debts and 1.177 bil­lion from fresh ar­rears. The tar­get set for this year re­gard­ing old ex­pired debts (dat­ing from be­fore Jan­uary 2017) is 2.7 bil­lion eu­ros, but given the pace of con­fis­ca­tions and other forced mea­sures, it is es­ti­mated that more than 5 bil­lion eu­ros will have been col­lected by the end of the year.

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