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The Ministry of Finance launches mass seizures

18 December 2015 / 16:12:12  GRReporter
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"We found them. We distrained them. We took them from you."

The General Secretariat for Public Revenue has triggered the provisions for which the government has agreed with creditors and which parliament has passed within the implementation of the memorandum, starting mass and automated seizures under the fast track procedure, applicable to persons owing taxes of over 70,000 euro.

A decision of Deputy Secretary for Public Revenue Yiannis Bakas, which was published in the Official Gazette with a great delay (it was signed on 2 December while under the memorandum, the measure had to be implemented in October), describes the procedure through which the Ministry of Finance is hoping to seize the bank deposits of major tax debtors, starting with those who are owing more than 70,000 euro.

The procedure is quite simple and is performed in three steps:

* The electronic control directorate of the General Secretariat for Public Revenue creates an electronic list, which includes people with arrears of more than 70,000 euro and sends it to all banks.

The list does not include those obligations that have been arranged under the law, with a delayed payment or an agreement on the instalment based on the law, on a court decision or on a decision of an administrative body.

* Banks compare the list with the data on their customers and within two days return the list to the electronic control directorate, having levied distraint on the deposit amounts of their customers (with the exception of non-forfeiture accounts and on the basis of existing restrictions). Levying distraint on the amounts entitles the tax administration to meet its existing claims with a priority, speeding up the procedure for compulsory payment.

Seizure does not apply to: a) cash amounts included in the non-forfeiture accounts under current legislation, b) amounts that are paid from accounts held by the debtor to the respective state accounts to cover the debtor’s tax or other obligations to the treasury, c) amounts for the issuance of bank cheques payable to the Greek state.

* On the same day, based on the responses from the banks, the electronic control directorate enters the data on taxpayers with large debts and deposits into the integrated information system taxis that is accessible to those departments of the General Secretariat for Public Revenue that are responsible for the collection of receivables (the tax service, the centre for control of rich taxpayers, the centre for control of big business, etc.), thus turning the distrait levied into seizure.

The law provides for the confiscation procedure to be completed within five days.

Tags: Ministry of FinanceTax serviceSeizuresDepositsDebtors
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