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1.5 billion Euros from Tax Penalties

18 June 2010 / 19:06:04  GRReporter
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The Greek service for struggle with economic crime collected € 1.5 billion from fines imposed for tax incorrectness only for the first five months of this year. Over six thousand enterprises and retail sites were checked. The most common violations were not issuing of primary accounting documents (invoices and receipts) and carrying out of unauthorized trade deals in order to avoid paying of VAT. The checks which the tax service carried out in 2009 were four thousand compared to the last year and the total amount of fines collected was € 700 million or two times less than the amount collected for the period January to May, 2010. This was stated by the Minister of Finance George Papakonstantino during his visit to the service for struggle with economic crime in Greece.

As the government has promised earlier this year, the first cross-checks were carried out in some of the most popular nightclubs in Greece. According to unofficial data they were trimming the tax laws of the country for many years. Minister Papakonstantinou announced that the penalty for repeated violation of commercial sites that were once sanctioned will be to suspend their business. The registered violations in pubs and bars are 449 and there is a procedure for temporary closure.

After inspection of expensive properties in areas around Athens, the tax officials, using Google Earth, have found that only in the northern suburbs of the city there are 274 luxury properties with swimming pools, 170 of which were recorded in the tax service. There is no data for the remaining properties so their owners have saved outstanding taxes for them for years. Under surveillance are and 63% of the notaries in the country who have declared income under € 100,000 in their tax returns for the last year. The Minister of Finance stressed the importance of proper collection of tax obligations for the amount of the public revenue. He pointed out that the new tax law provides for higher fines. For small companies the fine for lack of a receipt issued now is € 400, the fines for larger retail sites are increased to € 800 and € 1,200 depending on the turnover.

”Revenues only from higher taxes are not sufficient,” said explicitly the Minister Papakonstantinou in connection with the increased activity of the tax services this year. Student in marketing at the University of Athens, who asked to remain anonymous, comments for GRReporter the financial success of the tax services as follows: “Greece had to almost collapsed financially in order the public institutions to begin to do their job properly.”

Tags: EconomyMarketsNews
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