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Over 5 million Greeks declared annual incomes below €12,000

04 October 2015 / 14:10:02  GRReporter
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At a time when the government toys with the idea of raising the non-taxable minimum to €12,000, tax returns data show that the population has been sliding towards the lowest income grades en masse.

Of the approximately 5.9 million common tax declarations submitted by the end of August, 3.7 million or 62.82% show family incomes below €12,000.

From 2010, when the memoranda started to apply, until today, the share of the poorest taxpayers has risen by 14%. In 2010, there were 2.782 million taxpayers with a family income of below €12,000, i.e. about a million fewer than today.

Consequently, 63% of households in Greece have stopped – due either to withering earnings or to tax dodging – chipping in on tax contributions to the state. Thus they leave it to 2.2 million households living on more than €1,000 a month, to drag the tax burden of about €8 billion annually.

Obviously, the €12,000 non-taxable income slogan has wide political resonance as it affects the majority of taxpayers. However, it wouldn't benefit so many people, since today the exemption covers all those below €9,550.

On the other hand, raising this amount would entail a robust price tag to the budget. If the lowest income strata are "donated" €200 each, the overall sum will exceed €600-700 million.

These data refer to family incomes rather than personal ones. In fact, the number of people with a personal income below €12,000 is over five million – out of a total eight million taxpayers.

If today's tax returns are compared with those of 2010, the results are quite striking:

• The "rich" are becoming extinct. The number of people with a family income over €100,000 was 38,549 in 2010 and 25,000 in 2014. For this segment, the tax rate is up to 48%.

• Those with a family income of between €50,000 and €100,000 have dwindled from 244,884 in 2010 to 110,000. Accordingly, their overall income has shrunk from €15.8 billion in 2010 to 7.1 billion in 2014.

• 400,000 families – down from 604,000 in 2010 – have declared incomes from €30,000 to €50,000 in 2014. Here, total income has also decreased from €23 billion in 2010 to €14 billion last year.

• The €20,000-€30,000 crowd (i.e., those who get through the month on roughly €1,500) have tapered off to 555,000 – from 752,086 in 2010, again talking about families. This category has seen their total earnings taking a dip as well: from €18.4 billion in 1010 to €14 billion last year.

Tags: taxes taxpayers tax returns tax-free minimum incomes
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