Greece’s Unpaid Taxes Growing 1B Euros Monthly

A tax office in Marousi, Athens. Photo: Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas

ATHENS – An avalanche of tax hikes across the board continues to backfire in Greece with people buried under austerity measures unable to pay even what they owe the government as the arrears are building at the rate of a million euros a month even with the risk of electronic confiscation of their bank accounts.

Data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue revealed the growing trend even before the start of payments of the hated and dreaded ENFIA property tax surcharge that the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA promised to eliminate before reneging on that pledge too.

IAPR figures showed that expired debts to the tax authorities increased by 1.07 billion euros in August from end-July, reaching up to 8.55 billion since the start of the year. Of that 1.07 billion, 938 million euros comprises taxes that households and enterprises failed to pay.

Not even 700 electronic confiscations a day from bank accounts is cutting into the problem as many people just can’t pay and have no recourse.

Nevertheless, every day the tax inspection mechanism carries out some 700 confiscations of funds from bank accounts and other assets in order to protect the state’s interests. The IAPR data showed that 3.85 million taxpayers and corporations owe the state a total of 98.2 billion euros, an amount that increases with every month that passes and is likely to rise above the 100-billion-euro mark by the end of the year.