ATHENS – Under pressure from international creditors, Greece has scrapped a plan offering tax cheats with secret foreign bank accounts incentive to pay what they owe.
The country’s lenders want the evaders to pay in full but the government had argued that without discounts to repatriate the money they wouldn’t pay anything.
The plan was an attempt to persuade people to declare hidden incomes in Greece and abroad, such as Switzerland the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, and other tax havens.
The International Monetary Fund, which, along with the European Union, European Central Bank and European Stability Mechanism makes up the Quartet which put up a third bailout of 86 billion euros ($98.06 billion) that came with more austerity measures.
Kathimerini said the Finance Ministry had proposed the provision of incentives to those who voluntarily declared untaxed incomes and that those funds be placed in any EU country.
The government said the creditors’ insistence in short-sighted because it no tax cheat will come forward if they have to pay fines and additional taxes adding up to 50 percent of their undeclared income.
A senior ministry official told the newspaper that, “That “there is no chance of seeing anyone declare a hidden 2 million euros (if they know) the state will take 1 million. It will be a failed regulation from its inception.”