The International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s international lenders, has reported that for the first time since austerity measures were imposed three years ago to get bailouts, that the country is beginning to slowly improve its antiquated tax collection procedures.
Tax cheats owe more than $70 billion and have largely escaped prosecution and sacrifice while the government has relied on a series of pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions to try to reduce its staggering debt and bring down the deficit.
The report delivered to the government this week praised the implementation of commitments regarding the tax administration and collection mechanisms and the independence of the new General Secretariat for Revenues.
The report delivered by the IMF technocrats to the Finance Ministry lauded the actions that are unfolding or completed, such as the creation of a special agency for tax monitoring that intends to inspect wealthy taxpayers and the set-up of a Large Enterprise Monitoring Center.
However, the IMF report further stresses the need for the intensification of checks on certain categories of taxpayers, particularly of those with great wealth and of the self-employed. It also states that the revision of the property values used for tax purposes will have to be completed urgently.