A team from the Ministry of Finance is developing a special plan for the rescue of revenue, in order to prevent the budget from "sinking" during the first half of the year.
For this purpose, the tax authorities have started to immediately send letters for taxes due, have recommended the voluntary closing of companies and are pursuing debtors even if they owe only 300 Euros. In addition in order to track all debtors more successfully a telephone exchange was created in the General Secretariat for Information Systems. Meanwhile directors in tax departments are being pressured to perform tax checks throughout the market because tax evasion continues to “flourish” and nobody is issuing receipts.
On the other hand, the Finance Ministry, despite the slowdown in revenue recorded to date, which is believed to exceed 500 million Euros due to the sharp decline of the current month, continues to extend the deadline for tax returns and VAT returns of businesses, as it recognizes that the liquidity of the market is enormous, the demand has shrunk dramatically, and there has been a dramatic drop in turnover of firms.
The Ministry of Finance does not exclude the possibility of extending the submission of declarations for freelancers, employees and retirees, because now the deadline is June 15. At the same time according to commitments made, on this item by the end of June, 1 billion Euros must be collected and by the end of the year an additional 1 billion Euros.
Ε-mails and telephone reminders for debtors
Due to the decline in revenue the Ministry of Finance is constantly holding meetings in order to find ways to change the climate, without however, "suffocating" taxpayers, because everyone knows the consequences of the measures undertaken.
At yesterday's meeting, held under the chairmanship of Finance Minister George Zanias and with the participation of the Secretary of Information Systems Harris Theoharis and members of the finance team, it was decided to implement the following five measures, which can "unclog" revenue:
* To create a special call centre in the General Secretariat for Information Systems, so that those who do not submit their tax return on time or have arrears to the state can be connected by telephone or e-mail.
* To send notification letters for the 2009 exceptional real estate tax next week.
* To send the first 500,000 notification letters on income tax for individuals during the first days of June.
* To pressure the directors of all tax offices, in order to actively continue working on collection and verification of taxes.
* Next week Minister Zanias will visit major tax offices around the country in an attempt to exert pressure to increase the efficiency of their operations.
Pitfalls and benefits for those who will declare the termination of their activities
It should be noted that during the same meeting Harris Theoharis informed the political leadership of the ministry that last year around 240,000 merchants and freelancers had filed tax returns with zero revenue or had not submitted any tax returns at all.
Therefore, he believes that the letters, which the General Secretariat for Information Systems will be sent in the next few days, will ask companies to announce their late termination of activities, provided, of course, that the owners will appear in the corresponding tax division and submit the required application cessation in the Department "Registers" in order to close their ledgers.
According to Theoharis the benefit for freelancers, who will belatedly announce the termination of their activities, will be that they will not pay a sales tax, which this year amounts to 500 Euros, but they will have to pay the usual fine for delayed cessation, amounting to 40 Euros.
However, it should be noted that a big trap lies within this proposal for those who have open accounts with the tax authorities, because taxpayers who decide to close their ledgers will be checked thoroughly by the authorities and it is likely that they will have to pay fines several times larger than the sales tax which they will save themselves.
Let us remind you that the traders and freelancers who have ledgers under the B and C category according to the Code of Ledgers and Data, will have to pay the following sales tax:
- 400 Euros for those whose headquarters are located in a tourist areas or in cities with a population of up to 200,000 residents.
- 500 Euros for those whose headquarters are located in cities with a population of over 200,000 residents.
- 300 Euros for each branch of the company, provided that there is a network of branches.
Exempt from sales tax are all commercial companies and freelancers, who have been active for no more than five years.
New extension of the deadline for filing tax returns
In order to facilitate the filing of tax returns for income tax of legal entities and VAT returns using the special network TAXISnet, by decision of the Finance Minister George Zanias the deadline is extended as follows:
1. Until May 31 the deadline for submission of annual tax returns for income tax of payers under art. 2, para. 4 of the Income Tax Code (partnerships, limited partnerships, holdings, etc.) provided in the provisions of Art. 64 of the Income Tax Code, regardless of the last digit of their tax number.
2. The deadline for the submission of VAT returns for 2011 is extended until June 8, 2012 for all who are subject to this tax.