Friday, 14 October 2011

New Weapons Against Tax Evaders

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos today told parliament that tax evasion is a national crime now amounting to 42 billion euros in lost income to the state. He has in the past admitted that the figure contains a great deal of uncollectable debt from defunct firms.

Venizelos also revealed that the government has assembled a new task force to audit the thousand biggest companies by turnover, and is retaining private sector services to help it track down large individual tax evaders. While he appealed to the patriotism of the Greeks in honestly declaring their income, Venizelos also made clear that the government is bringing to bear new weapons to home in on large tax evaders. It recently declassified banking transactions, and the minister today revealed some of the findings of that declassification for 2009 income.

Roughly 180,000 people remitted 5.4 billion euro overseas, Venizelos said. Of those, 8,667 individuals were responsible for remitting 4.9 billion. From among these, 3,718 declared an income of less than 20,000 euro for the year.  He said the government would have remittances data from 2010 and 2011 within days.

The details were revealed during an exchange with Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the Democratic Left Party, who called on the government to crack down on nearly 10 billion euros in corporate tax evasion. Kouvelis implied that the government is reluctant to undertake the political cost of allowing its Financial Crimes Unit do its job of auditing individuals and companies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.