Greece Takes Another Crack at Going After Big Tax Evaders

ATHENS – No government has been able to do it yet but Greece’s New Democracy administration will have tax officials use new online booking data to hunt tax cheats, especially for Value Added Tax (VAT) on businesses.

That could bring in as much as 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) more annually just through better VAT compliance, said Kathimerini, and cross-checking could rake in another 500 million euros ($565 million) it was said.

That would be through discovering hidden income, according to estimates at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) and the report said there will be checks for fake declarations for VAT rebates draining coffers.

The plan is for 25,000 checks of businesses and 2,500 property transfer inspections with . Recent experience from Italy, where billions of euros of

The IAPR’s will add more monitoring instruments such as spot checks using tablets that will allow inspectors to have access to each taxpayer’s profile and issue fines on the spot, it was said.

Finance Ministry officials said that the compulsory use of the IAPR platform for bookkeeping (MyData) can reveal tax evasion and will lead to the gradual abolition of companies’ client lists, as all invoice data between enterprises are automatically transferred to the IAPR, in real time too.

The annual loss of VAT dues in Greece is estimated at 5.3 billion euros ($6 billion) although a line of schemes aimed at going after those still demanding only cash, including doctors, lawyers, car mechanics and others hasn’t reined them in fully.

Tax inspectors will also have access to the new online system, named “Eispraxis,” which identifies debtors have the means to pay debts or arrange payments but won’t to find so-called strategic defaulters.




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