Greek Business Federation Newsletter Describes Inventive Ways People Tax Evade

This week’s Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) newsletter describes inventive ways Greek businesses and freelancers use to evade taxes and security contributions.

The newsletter underlines the need for measures that would tackle rampant tax and security contribution evasion. At the same time, SEV wonders why the International Monetary Fund does not react to the fact that there is no requirement for electronic transactions between businesses (electronic invoicing, credit card transactions etc).

Cash under the table, fake invoicing and the refusal of businesses to issue receipts are the most common ways businesses and freelancers use to avoid paying their dues to the State.

The newsletter says that many professionals and freelancers have closed their tax books altogether and operate only with money under the table. The same applies to many workers or waiters, who are hired under the condition that they will take cash for their services without asking for proof of payment or security contributions.

The newsletter presents instances that show to what length some businesses can go to in order to not pay taxes:

A coffee shop in which the customer was told that the POS machine is broken and the customer can pay in cash. When the customer insisted on getting a receipt, they brought him an unrelated receipt from the stationery store next door.

In a case where a customer had a marble floor installed, the company gave him an invoice with a much lower price and “broken pieces” as description of the product sold.

In another instance, someone ordered a pair of shoes from China, he received a right shoe with the word “sample” on the packing slip. Several days later, he received the left shoe with the same description.

SEV also presents the case of a fast food restaurant that offers customers a 10% discount if they pay cash and don’t ask for a receipt.