Greek Tax Inspectors Urge Tourists to Get Receipts Or Don't Pay


Photo by Eurokinissi/Giorgos Kontarinis.

ATHENS – Going through the motions of yet another summer crackdown on tax cheats, especially restaurants, bars and taverns, Greek tax inspectors told tourists to get a receipt because otherwise they don't have to pay.

Tourists are more likely not to bother with a receipt, it was said, although the law requires one be issue as a way to track revenues although many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, tell clients their Point-of-Service (POS) machines aren't working so they can get cash and avoid paying taxes.

Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue is continuing its campaign against tax evasion with messages targeting tourists, said Kathimerini, especially with visitor numbers and spending expected to fall off after five consecutive record seasons.

Posters have been put up at airports advising tourists to ask for receipts and the agency created a webpage ( to remind visitors to Greece of their right not to pay if not given a receipts and telling them how to ask for it, in Greek, using the word “apodixi” to demand one.

June inspections revealed that 32 percent of Greek businesses failed to issue receipts, with the number rising to 60 percent in areas popular with tourists but there were no reports on how many, if any were fined as even penalties are usually far less than can be made by cheating on taxes and with prosecutors and shutting establishments rare.