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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-09-12

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] New code for tax procedures, fines unveiled

  • [01] New code for tax procedures, fines unveiled

    ANA-MPA -- Greek authorities on Thursday unveiled a new tax crime sheet aimed at streamlining fines imposed by tax agencies - for a more feasible collection of fines - and imposing stricter penalties for small tax-evaders, where tax evasion rates are higher.

    A circular issued by Haris Theocharis, secretary-general for Public Revenues, also envisaged asset seizure and their auctioning off with fast-track procedures.

    The new tax crime sheet envisages fines of up to 1,200 euros for non-issuance of tax papers (retail receipts, invoices, etc) of purchases or services rendered of up to 5,000 euros. This fine will be raised to up to 2,500 euros from January, 1 2014. For sums over 5,000 euros, the fine will be equal to 40 pct of the value of the transaction, or a minimum fine of 2,500 euros, over the same periods, respectively.

    In cases of fake tax data, the fine will be up to 100 pct of the sum, or from January 1, 2014, a fine of 2,500 euros for each fake tax element issued. In cases of virtual VAT data, the fine will be equal to 50 pct of the tax.

    In an interview with ANA-MPA, Theocharis said that the new tax code procedures will largely facilitate collection of tax fines.

    "The fines imposed under the previous tax code were excessive, compared with the type of the offense - hiding VAT or income," Theocharis said, adding that with the new tax code the government was introducing a streamlining of fines. "We hope that now we will have a larger possibility of collecting these fines," he said, adding that citizens will be able to see that fines are in closer proportion to the offense.

    He noted that focus was placed on retail receipts and virtual invoices. "We have several cases where data are completely irrational - i.e. for a tax evasion case of 100,000 euros, someone could be burdened with a total debt of 10 million euros. Fines were out of proportion, leading medium or larger enterprises to extinction, and we think this is not right. Tax justice must be the same for small, medium and large taxpayers. This streamlining moves towards the right direction," he noted.

    Theocharis underlined that the reason that most fines could not be collected was that they were unfair, "and that's how people saw them". He noted that several cases reached the State Council and stressed that a second big advantage of this reform was that it would contribute to reducing the burden of backlogged legal cases, which have been pending at tax and civil courts for several years now.


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