Debt col­lec­tion ex­pected to soar

Tax au­thor­i­ties an­tic­i­pate some 2.5 bln eu­ros this quar­ter thanks to pres­sure on tax­pay­ers, con­fis­ca­tions

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The tax ad­min­is­tra­tion es­ti­mates this year’s col­lec­tions from ex­pired dues to come to 6.5 bil­lion eu­ros, not­ing that debt ar­range­ments and as­set con­fis­ca­tions will boost rev­enues, af­ter com­ing to 4 bil­lion eu­ros by end-Septem­ber.

Within the last three months of the year the In­de­pen­dent Au­thor­ity for Pub­lic Rev­enue ex­pects to col­lect some 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros as a re­sult of thou­sands of debtors sign­ing up for the 12-in­stall­ment pay­ment plan. Fear of as­set seizures is driv­ing tax­pay­ers to set­tle their debts to the tax au­thor­i­ties first and then look af­ter any other obli­ga­tions, even if their abil­ity to shell out any more taxes has been ex­hausted.

Rev­enues from over­due debts have been on the rise since 2014 – but so have debts to the state. In 2014 the state col­lected 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros from this cat­e­gory of debts, ris­ing to 3.9 bil­lion in 2015 when the 100-tranche pay­ment plan was in­tro­duced. Rev­enues then came to 5.2 bil­lion eu­ros in 2016 and to 5.1 bil­lion in 2017.

A top IAPR of­fi­cial told Kathimerini that these rev­enues are mainly thanks to the tire­less ef­forts of the tax au­thor­i­ties, with a cam­paign of on­line mes­sages, tele­phone up­dates, etc, con­vinc­ing many debtors to com­ply and pay their dues. He says that the rise in tak­ings this year is pri­mar­ily thanks to tax com­pli­ance and the in­clu­sion of debtors in the 12-in­stall­ment plans, and not due to ac­tual con­fis­ca­tions.

Nev­er­the­less, in the pe­riod from 2015 to 2018 debts to the state have soared com­pared with the pre­vi­ous years. The sum of comes to 110 bil­lion eu­ros (not in­clud­ing penal­ties), but as sig­nif­i­cant amounts have been col­lected in the mean­time, the out­stand­ing sum has dropped to 102 bil­lion.

Fig­ures show that the course of ex­pired debts was as fol­lows: By 2009 they came to to 31 bil­lion eu­ros; in the pe­riod from 2010 to 2014 an­other 34 bil­lion was added, and in 2015 to date an ad­di­tional 45 bil­lion was piled on. Cru­cially, the num­ber of debtors has quadru­pled in eight years, from about 1 mil­lion in 2010 to some 4 mil­lion in 2018.

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