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Economy

Greece’s Electronic Checking System Finds 240,000 Tax Cheats

September 18, 2022

ATHENS – While no scheme has been unable to stop rampant tax evasion in Greece, a digital accounting and tax application discovered more than 240,000 more cases and a phone app available will let consumers scan receipts to turn in cheats – and get part of the fine.

The use of the MyDATA system identified businesses and freelancers who didn’t submit documents to the tax office in 2021, the electronic check (E-books) paying immediate dividends.

Retail businesses have to use electronic means to report their income and give receipts to customers – who aren’t required to pay if they don’t get one.

Targeted especially are professions that often demand cash and refuse to use the electronic system though which means they can still get around paying taxes, including doctors, lawyers, plumbers and electricians.

But the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) reported that almost all businesses have registered with MyDATA, specifically 1,069,993, which have sent 1,225,053,084 documents worth 733.4 billion euros ($734.58 billion) said Kathimerini.

Before E-books, companies had to fill in and send consolidated customer-supplier statements and the report said that by year’s end a measure will got Parliament to fine those who don’t use them.

AADE’s E-books track receipts and expenses of businesses and the accounting balances are registered to determine the tax result annually as a means of limiting tax evasion.

AADE is also now going to launch a new smartphone app to let users check on the authenticity of receipts and if any are found to be bogus they can turn in the violator and share a share of the fine.

If the scanning of a receipt shows that the business that issued it has tampered with the cash register or that the latter is not connected to AADE, their reward will be up to 10 times the amount of the receipt to a maximum of 2,000 euros ($2003) the report said.

Named Appodixi (“receipt”) it works on smartphones and enables consumers to check the details and validity of a receipt by scanning the QR code on it.

The measure requires a law amendment, which is expected to be submitted to Parliament in the near future, a certainty it will pass as the ruling New Democracy has a majority, other parties irrelevant.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said his branch is working with AADE on “the possibility of providing an incentive for citizens to use the app, in the form of returning to the complainant part of the fine that will be imposed on the business or the professional for the illegal receipt scanned through Appodixi.

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