Police Shut Bars, Restaurants on Greek Islands for Tax Evasion

At least three businesses were forced to suspend operations for at least 48 hours due to tax irregularities in popular tourist destinations.

Officers of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue are intensifying inspections on businesses during the high tourist season in a number of Aegean islands where tax evasion is rampant.

On Monday a bar in Spetses was forced to suspend business until Friday for failing to issue 136 receipts worth a total of 9,000 euros.

A beach bar in Santorini was also closed for failing to issue 37 receipts, whereas a restaurant in Naxos was shut for 14 receipts.

The inspections, which will run for three months through to September 30, will be unannounced and can take place at any time of the day or night on any day at businesses including beach bars and cafes, restaurants, entertainment venues, etc.

The objective is to have at least 14,500 checks in the next quarter, with an emphasis given on the issuing of receipts for goods and services. This is about 50% of the annual target of 35,000 proactive audits.

According to recent study by EY (formerly Ernst & Young), tax evasion in Greece is estimated to be around 16 billion euros each year.