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Society

Greece Offers Tax Evasion Whistleblowers Bonuses Up to 3,000 Euros

ATHENS – Nothing has worked to stop runaway tax evasion in Greece and now bonuses up to 3000 euros ($3,264) are being offered to whistleblowers who turn in businesses and professionals not giving receipts or ducking their obligations.

The Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) is looking for tax cheats who don’t give receipts that are required, or using Point of Service (POS) machines that the agency can use to track the flow of money.

But some professionals, including doctors and lawyers and service businesses like auto repair shops as well as plumbers and handymen and contractors offer costumes lower prices if they don’t ask for receipts and say their POS machines or Internet isn’t working to prevent giving them.

Greece has a receipt app called Appodixi to try to locate falsified mechanisms and fake receipts that undervalue a service, which lets the professional, service giver or business pay less taxes and the customer pay less for what they’re getting.

That mutual benefit is one of the reasons that corruption and tax evasion have proved unstoppable in Greece and why no government has been able to make any kind of serious dent in the phenomenon, especially with the rich hiding their fortunes in secret foreign bank accounts and paying little or nothing.

AADE chief Giorgos Pitsilis said the rewards will begin at 100 euros ($108.81) and be capped at the 3000-euro ceiling even if the information brings a bonanza to the agency that’s many times more than the bonus.

That will be determined after an audit detects if there is a violation and how extensive it is with reports it has already led to taxpayers being paid for reporting gas stations fraudulent operations and data in the input-output system.

In that case, the station was sealed and its operating license was revoked for two months, until mandatory installation of a certified input-output system that would be verified by another inspection.

A fine of 50,000 euros ($54,407) was also issued although it wasn’t said if that was more or less than the profit made by cheating the government of revenues. AADE data showed more than 166,000 complaints through the app, 91,000 anonymous.

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