Greek Income Tax Rates Soar, 100% for Some Brackets: More Coming

FILE - In this photo taken on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, an elderly man carries shopping bags at Varvakios market in Athens. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – The avalanche of tax hikes unleashed by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition is coming down hard as Greeks file their taxes, with some set to lose 100 percent of extra income they made.

The income tax hikes will see people in some categories paying twice as much for 2016 as they did the year before when SYRIZA came to power on the promise to cut taxes and reverse austerity before doing exactly the opposite on orders of international lenders.

Changes to the tax system have sent rates soaring for the 40 percent of taxpayers that have been notified of the additional tax they will have to pay, Kathimerini said.

Changes in income brackets as well as in the brackets used for calculating the solidarity tax are mainly responsible for increasing taxpayers’ burden this year, mostly for salaried workers and freelance professionals, who are being required to pay their taxes in advance even without knowing their income as SYRIZA – while hiring thousands and handing out pay hikes – is scraping for the money to do it during a crushing seven-year-long economic crisis.

In some cases the annual difference in the tax due is more than the difference between the incomes of 2015 and 2016, the paper said. For instance, a taxpayer with incomes of 66,000 euros in 2015 and 76,000 euros in 2016 is now forced to pay tax amounting to 21,646 euros, against 10,692 euros last year. This means that the extra 10,000 euros will essentially be totally confiscated in taxes.

The huge tax bills are making it just about impossible for people to pay in three installments sest for July, September and November, and which has led scores of thousands to not even file by the July 17 deadline that has now been pushed back again as it has repeatedly.

Many taxpayers are considering signing up now for the 12-installment pay plan, while others fear they will simply fail to meet their obligations, particularly as the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) is also coming soon whacking people with more huge bills for a tax that when begun six years ago as a surcharge was supposed to be for one year only.