Greece Mulls Incentives for Tax Cheats



500 eurosAfter international lenders rejected a plan to let Greeks with undeclared income abroad return the money to Greece and pay only an 8 percent penalty, the government has now devised another scheme: giving the tax cheats incentive deposit their funds in foreign countries in Greek banks.

Government officials are planning to hold talks with representatives of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) to go over the latest plan aimed at tax cheats who owe the country $70 billion and have mostly escaped prosecution or sacrifice during a crushing economic crisis in which pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions have been put on workers, pensioners and the poor instead.

The newspaper Kathimerini reported, however, that the government is keen to avoid the perception that giving incentives to people who haven’t paid taxes and keep their money in foreign countries is seen as an amnesty. Instead, the proposal would be that the depositors would pay only a small fine if they bring their money back to their homeland.

It’s not unlawful to have foreign bank accounts if taxes are paid, but critics have said many Greeks use banks in other countries to avoid paying taxes. A list of 2,062 Greeks with $1.95 billion in secret accounts in the Geneva, Switzerland branch of HSBC still hasn’t been checked for possible tax evasion after more than two years.

Instead, the government is investigating former finance minister George Papaconstantinou, who held the list first, because the names of three of his relatives had been removed. His successor as finance chief and now the PASOK Socialist leader, Evangelos Venizelos, also had the list on a memory stick but isn’t being probed because critics said as a partner in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ uneasy coalition that he is being protected.

Kathimerini said that the government also plans to announce the plan at the same time as the creation of Greece’s first assets register, which will be used as a tool to clamp down on tax dodgers, although it’s uncertain if the Troika will go along with it. In November 2012, the government had proposed that Greeks seeking to repatriate undeclared earnings pay a fine amounting to 8 percent of the total to avoid any further legal action or penalties, immediately killed by the Troika.

EU Task Force officials had suggested at the time that such a measure could only be accepted if Greece’s tax inspection system was able to pursue all those with undeclared assets who did not take up the amnesty offer. Despite repeated promises and vows, and apart from some arrests, Greece has failed to go after major tax cheats and not a single one has been prosecuted.


37 COMMENTS

  1. Hmm sounds tempting, but I have another idea. How about I just keep my money in a foreign bank where the government can’t get it; then I just wait until this all disappears because the tax collectors are useless?

  2. I’m not bringing ma 6000 thousand drachma to any Greek bank. What’s not to say that Venizelos’s butt buddies won’t change the law tomorrow? Nah, I’m letting Greece go broke instead. I love Greece but not that much.

  3. The got me and my parents on that list. Got nothing because it was all legal.

    You people are getting another fraud sold to you. Most of those people are retired with foreign pensions or people who have saved their money and took it out of the country for safe keeping.  The super rich are already immune to any threats and the rest are average Greeks that are mostly legal.. 

    Another Greek theater for the stupid masses……..

  4.  Hey its the dude using my handle. I though you claimed to be German. Are you Greek today?

  5. “Despite repeated promises and vows, and apart from some arrests, Greece
    has failed to go after major tax cheats and not a single one has been
    prosecuted.”

    You contridict yourself iin the same sentence. First you say “some arrests” then you claim has failed to go after major tax cheats? What is a “major” tax cheat according to comrade andy?

    I think the Greek government should do an audit of Andy Dablis of the USA to see if he is a “major taxcheat” himself. Do you pay Greek or US taxes on the money US military funded setimes.com pays you to write anti-Greek articles Andy?

  6. Kathimerini reported this, Kathimerini reported that… What does the Greek Reporter have to say on this..???
    As for an obvious assets register, how much further delay. 
    The useless inept Government continue to serve their masters. 
    They are still protecting their own corrupt interests and those of their masters in which they serve. 
    Why wouldn’t they, as they can’t be prosecuted.
    Taxes are only enforced on the common people.

  7. I suggest that we start up a new division of “LAW AND ORDER Special Tax Crimes Unit”

    Alex I am putting you in charge!!!! First line of business is to investigate Andy Dablis.  We need to find his Social Security number, Α.Φ.Μ., ΑΜΚΑ, ΝΟΥΜΕΡΟ ΙΚΑ, ΚΑΙ ΑΝ ΕΧΕΙ ΠΟΙΝΙΚΟ ΜΗΤΡΩΟ (ΜΠΟΡΕΙΣ ΝΑ ΠΑΣ ΣΕ ΚΕΠ, ΘΑ ΠΑΡΕΙ ΠΕΡΙΠΟΥ 2 ΕΒΔΟΜΑΔΕΣ ΓΙΑΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΟΛΥ ΓΡΗΓΟΡΟΙ).  

    In addition, is he married? Does he have a family in the US and Greece? Maybe Canada? And if he is in the US, does he live in Utah so he can have multiple wives? 

    Get started quickly because when you are done with him we have many others to investigate!

  8. Translation:

    I am Skopian but I think I’ll pretend to be Greek against my government — so the communists can win

  9. Mekima don’t worry, Alex is heading Special Tax Crime Unit.   He will get them all!

  10. Comrade Andy even said the words “workers, poor and pensioners” for the umpteenth time. Che Andy claims to be opposed to communism  but then keeps going on about “workers, poor and pensioners” just like Tsipiras.

  11.  Alex will be taking over the investigation now.  We will see how “LEGAL” it is….

  12. …because as we all know the common people never cheated on their taxes and none were corrupt (eyes rolling)

  13.  Alex maybe Tsipras has the alias “ANDY DABLIS”….this investigation just got more complicated!

  14. “Alex Prime Minister of Greece” is my only handle on Greek reporter. I swear its the truth.

  15. I also claim to be a Golden Dawn voter… who obsessively criticizes Skopian and communist critics …. and constantly defends leftists and Skopian posters on this website.

    I am a Greek patriot. I swear its true.. just like its true “Alex Prime Minister of Greece” is my only handle on this website..

  16. Not as quick as me though.

    I
    claim to be a Golden Dawn voter… who obsessively criticizes
    Skopian and communist critics …. and constantly defends leftists and
    Skopian posters on this website.

    I am a Greek patriot. I swear its true.. just like its true “Alex Prime Minister of Greece” is my only handle on this website..

     

  17. Any one he misses… I will get interrogate myself. Send all the male ones to my uncle’s home in Florina

  18.  I will be doing a through investigation of Skopians on this website.

    Ok investigation over.  Clearly none exist.

    You can trust me. I swear I’m a greek patriot that votes Golden Dawn.. .this is why I constantly troll posters that are anti-Skopian anti-communist.

  19.  No no now….Alex you are the only person that can’t be corrupted!  You are the all knowing.  When did your father move from the US to Florina?

  20. AΛΕΞ ΚΑΙ ΠΩΣ ΠΗΓΕΣ ΣΤΟ ΚΕΠ? ΑΥΡΙΟ ΑΝΟΙΓΟΥΝΕ!

  21.  When my mother was pregnant with me, they did an ultrasound and found
    she was having twins. When they did another ultrasound a few weeks
    later, they discovered that I had adsorbed the other fetus. Do I regret
    this? No, I believe his tissue has made me stronger. I now have the
    strength of a grown man and a little baby.

  22. I don’t know why the EU was shocked and surprised at the state of the Greek economy.The larger countries of the EU exported their recessions to Greece,and,financed it by using and abusing lax Greek laws and enforcement.The only fault i have with the middle class Greeks,is,how they continued to vote for the same old s**t,but,then again if you don’t have to pay taxes…why would you care???? you have no money on the table.While i don’t agree with Tsipras’s views,i do think it is time Greeks of his generation and age,to take over.Greece needs it’s 40+ year olds to now lead,not it’s 70+ year olds,their time is now past.

  23. Who is Alex you keep talking about? My name is ALEX PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE. This is my only handle on Greek Reporter. I swear its true.

    I am also a Golden voter. This is why I desperately keep making posts to avoid any discussion of the blatently obvious Skopians trolling this website. I am also “defending” Greece. by aligning myself with Skopians and communists.

  24. Yaro, or Alex,
    The little amount the average Greek tax evader accounts for is in the millions, though now surely, you would have to agree they are now over taxed, and insignificant when compared to avoided taxes, corruptly acquired and hidden billions of the protected elite.

  25. Το όνομά μου είναι Άλεξ Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδα. Είμαι Έλληνας. Αυτό είναι το μόνο όνομά μου εδώ. Δεν είμαι Βούλγαρος.

  26.  I say this to myself to explain the conflicting voices in my head. I am so confused.

    I claim to vote for Golden Dawn but I constantly rush to defence of Skopians and communists.

  27. I have no comment on the blatently obvious Skopian remarks “Mental Retard Kosta”. Instead I’ll desperately constantly deflect the conversation away from any discussion of the Skopians trolling this website.

    You see I am a “Greek” that claims to vote for Golden Dawn. We in Golden Dawn are well known for defending Skopians and communists.

  28.  I wake up this morning and find 50 emails from the Greek Reporter……42 being from Alex…..Please come up with something else…..it is getting boring with you.

  29.  I see you finally learned how to use google translation the correct way.

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