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Economic police investigate the income of Greek singers

10 September 2012 / 22:09:21  GRReporter
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Leading names of the Greek music stage have fallen under the magnifying glass of tax police. Secular magazines have been full of their pictures on islands and yachts in recent months, but now it turns out that many of them seem to have saved from snacks for their summer vacations, because their declared income is not sufficient for such long vacations and such expensive destinations.

According to Ta Nea newspaper, tax authorities are investigating the 2008 and 2009 income of famous singers, which was declared in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The purpose of the control body is to determine how their income corresponds to the wages applicable before the economic crisis.

Yiannis Ploutarhos, who is famous for his song "The best boy," seems to be a good boy in real life too, after filing a tax return with the highest income - 822,059 euro for 2009. At the same time, his equally famous colleague Anna Vissi declared income of around 30,751 euro in 2008 and only 3,223 euro in 2009 and did not declare any property. It is widely known that she is a partner in the firm of her former husband Nikos Karvelas and that she takes care of all wages.

Many of her colleagues used the same tactics. The performer of more traditional and less commercial songs Yiannis Kotsiras declared income to the amount of 24,281euro in 2008 and zero in 2009. He is also a company owner and his fees have been transferred to it. Apparently, he has no profits transferred from the company to his personal bank account that can be taxed again. According to the newspaper, this explains the tax return of Ellie Kokinou too, who declared a net income of 4,447 euro in 2008 and zero income in 2009.

At the same time, pop idol Sakis Rouvas declared income of 69,216 euro in 2008 and 67,628 euro in 2009.

George Mazonakis declared 65,586 and 45,176 euro respectively, whereas their colleague Panos Kiamos who is several steps behind them in the informal table of fees declared 262,995 euro in 2008 and 375,670 euro in 2009.

Peggy Zina and her husband, producer George Liras, declared income of around 79,231 euro in 2008 and 125,682 euro in 2009. According to the Sunday edition of Proto Thema newspaper, they failed to convince the tax authorities of how they have acquired a yacht, at least three luxury cars and a number of properties. Now they are accused of tax evasion amounting to 4.2 million euro.

At the top of the ranking for acquired property is Yiannis Ploutarhos again, as he declared one of tax value 1,320,000 euro.

Then follow Eleftheria Arvanitaki with property worth 982,910 euro, Notis Sfakianakis with 923,224 euro, Pashcalis Terzis with 855,288 euro and Eli Kokinou with 564,24 euro.

The article describes the trick that people from the nightlife industry use to achieve lower taxation. According to sources, the most powerful names in night establishments with live performances received between 8 and 12,000 euro a night under the counter, i.e. without an invoice. The payment to less famous performers was between 5 and 6,000 euro. This means that they received up to 48,000 euro per week, 192,000 euro per month and 960,000 euro annually.

These figures do not include the additional revenue from extra performances and concerts. The fees of famous performers reached 25,000 euro per concert in the summer of 2010.

Another way to avoid the traps of law and to save money on taxes is the establishment of offshore companies based in Cyprus or other countries. Depending on the type of business, some performers paid the Greek state taxes in the range of 5 to 10 per cent. Offshore companies are formally the owner of the property of many of them and therefore, it cannot be taxed.

According to the article, some of the most famous singers declared most of their real income and evaded the taxation of only what they could through participation in companies or contracts. Others however went so far as to declare income only unskilled workers received.

The article published in a big newspaper provoked strong reactions in the social media. Some bloggers even paraphrased the lyrics of songs by the most scandalous tax evaders such as Anna Vissi. They changed the verse of her song "I'll die of excessive love" to "I’ll die of excessive fraud".

Such was the fate of the song by Yiannis Kotsiras "When you feel like I feel, when my problem will be yours" was immediately changed to "When you steal like I did ...".

Besides singers, the economic police are investigating basketball players, football players, publishers and businessmen who are believed to have evaded taxes on a regular basis. Among them are many well-known actresses who receive pensions as unmarried daughters of public workers and military personnel.

The businessman and blogger George Farmakis, whom the readers of GRReporter know, made a post on Twitter, which has only added to the endless list of Greeks, who have been paying no taxes for years although they have significant profits and a very high standard of living, and are exacting towards the state, "I wonder how many restaurant owners (with average annual income of 6,015 euro) or hairdressers and beauticians (with income of 3,916 euro) protested in Syntagma Square with the slogan "Return what was stolen."


Tags: SingersTax evasionEconomic policeAnna VissiSakis RouvasYiannis Ploutarhos
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