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Greek tax authorities to boost checks on small debtors

Greek tax authorities to boost checks on small debtors

ATHENS: In a bid to close in on some 3.8 million taxpayers who owe an estimated total of 95 billion euros in overdue debts to the Greek state, the Independent Authority for Public Revenue is to intensify inspections on all those whose arrears exceed 500 euros, accessing their bank accounts and Land Register details.

Under pressure from the country’s creditors to collect much-needed revenue, the Finance Ministry is planning a new crackdown on debtors – both individuals and companies. The ministry’s effort is to focus first on those who clearly have the money to pay their debts but are choosing not to before moving on to those who are in financial difficulties.

The ministry aims to send out notices as soon as a debt becomes overdue. The scheme aims to link the ministry’s public revenue service to the Land Register to ensure that inspectors have an overview of the properties owned by debtors. In the event that there are no available deposits in bank accounts, authorities will have the option of seizing debtors’ properties.

“For the first time, we will have a full picture of the properties of taxpayers which could potentially lead to the imposition of taxes for those who have forgotten to declare them on the tax office’s E9 form,” the revenue authority said in a statement.

Authorities will also have access to insurance company data.

In the second phase of the scheme, Greek authorities will seek to exchange information with their counterparts in other countries about debtors’ foreign bank accounts, according to sources.