Self-employed professionals in Greece, noted for being among the biggest tax evaders and failing to give receipts, could face big tax hikes under a new $17.45 billion spending cut and tax hike plan they vociferously opposed.
According to the new tax code prepared by the government, and which is due to be submitted to Parliament on Dec. 11, the self-employed will pay 1.3 billion euros ($1.68 billion) more in tax over the next two years, when Greece has to raise an extra three billion euros ($3.87 billion) from taxation to be in line with demands from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank.
The abolishing of tax breaks (only discounts for expenditure on healthcare, charitable donations and child support will remain in place) is expected to lead to salaried workers and pensioners paying an extra 237 million euros ($306.3 million) in tax.
Reductions in child benefits is projected to bring in another 230 million euros ($297.2 million.) Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is trying to defend himself against charges he is going after the most vulnerable sectors in society while letting tax evaders largely escape.
Farmers will have to pay an extra 282 million euros ($364.4 million) due to a reduction in their Value Added Tax (VAT rebate) while they will also be obliged to keep proper accounting books for the first time that could see them assessed at a 13 percent rate from the first euro they earn. Rises in indirect taxes and social security contributions worth some 700 million euros, ($904.7 million) which will affect all sectors of society, will also be implemented.