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Auditors on safari for hidden taxes

08 March 2010 / 12:03:23  GRReporter
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Justice and the Ministry of Economy are about to collect owed money from unpaid taxes and to send the big "sharks" on the judicial bench. The Office for Combating Economic Crimes have targeted the names of major debtors to the state, who have hid millions of Euros from tax authorities. In addition to seeking to collect unpaid taxes tax inspectors aim to send the court those who hide their income, because it is considered to be felony when the amount exceeds €150 000. 

More than 100 lawsuits were filed in the last month and auditors are reviewing even the books of brothels! Together with prosecutor Paraskevas Adamis, the Office for Combating Economic Crimes  has started a real safari journey. In connection to this, the number of auditors has increased from 50 people to 65, and the additional 15 were transferred from other departments to monitor more frequently and more quickly. 

For the first time they even check the tax and police authorities in order to establish whether they have been delaying to declare and to collect fines or if they have ignored some court rulings. One auditor reported that some town planning offices in Attica region have been delaying to send fines to local tax offices, which in certain cases lead to large losses for the Treasury, and sometimes they are so delayed that the cases are written off. 

Prosecutors are also responsible for monitoring not only the town-planning offices, but also police stations, so they can make sure whether court rulings are being executed. In cases where the police, tax officials and town-planning employees do not do their job, they will be sued for not executing their jobs, and if it is proved that they have received a bribe, against them will be raised allegations of corruption and in certain cases even disloyalty against the state. 

Meanwhile, officials from the justice office want the tax evasion penalties to be tightened, says an article in Ethnos newspaper. According to them there must be gradations of penalties, because if for tax evasion in the amount of €150 000 one is given ten years in prison then for concealment of €1 billion one should spend more time in prison. Representatives of the justice office emphasize that we must take more effective measures to control the offshore companies and they offer to request information from banks, so as to uncover the channels through which the money pass. 

At least 200 people from the Office for Combating Economic Crimes daily control shops, nightclubs, coffee bars, etc., to verify whether the issue receipts.

Tags: Greece Economy Tax evasion
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