ATHENS, Greece: The Greek government is owed so much in tax arrears from households and companies that it could pay off more than half its massive public debts if it collected it all.
Unfortunately for the government, that’s unlikely to ever happen.
Data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue show tax arrears totalled 182.5 billion euros ($214 billion) on Aug. 10, according to a note sent from the agency to parliament last week and seen by The Associated Press Wednesday.
However, more than 80 billion euros of that represents interest and fines on delayed payments from debtors that include companies that have been out of business for decades.
The debt rivals Greece’s economic output, estimated at 184.7 billion euros ($217 billion) this year. Its public debt is worth about 180 per cent of that.
Eurozone-member Greece repeatedly raised taxes during its international bailouts between 2010 and August 2018. Some 3.7 million Greeks — about 60 per cent of the total — are behind on tax payments.