Greek Farmers Claim Poverty

Despite receiving hundreds of millions of euros in EU subsidies, 87.5 percent of Greek farmers declared incomes of under 5,000 euros a year.

That exempted them from paying any taxes and there were no reports they were being audited or questioned on the claims.

Nine out of 10 farmers in Greece declared an annual income below the tax-free threshold of 5,000 euros in 2014, the Finance Ministry said on Nov. 3.

According to the figures, just 5 percent claimed to have made more than 12,000 euros last year; 1.05 percent declared incomes of up to 30,000 euros and a mere 1 percent claimed to have made above that amount.

Of those who declared incomes below the tax-free threshold, 104,768 or 19.6 percent, declared no income or losses in 2014, the ministry said, while 233,674 claimed to have made up to 1,000 euros, representing 43.85 percent.

The total income declared by farmers in 2014 came to 1.3 billion euros, bringing the average per farmer at 2,518 euros for the entire year.

Although most farmers’ reported income makes them tax-exempt they are still protesting government plans to hit their sector with big tax hikes demanded by international lenders and took to blocking roads with tractors.