The Audit Authority for Tax Payers with Great Wealth revealed the enormous size of tax evasion in Greece. Figures in more than 1,200 folders concerning tax evasion cases reveal that only one out to five wealthy citizens has declared a true income and paid the relative taxes.
During the last months, the Audit Authority for Tax Payers with Great Wealth has started working more intensively and has already completed 500 audits of wealthy Greeks (compared to just 50 completed in the past two years). Data show that tax evasion in Greece reaches 80%.
More specifically, 400 audits were related to money sent abroad while 100 audits were related to offshore properties. It was revealed that only 20 citizens were paying their taxes for properties in Greece. The unpaid taxes exceed 150 million euros. About 130 million euros concern remittances sent abroad while another 25 million euros concern unpaid property taxes.
The audits are done electronically with the use of a special software and algorithms preventing human intervention or consultation with the auditor.
The audits of wealthy citizens must increase not only to restore the injustices of the past years but also because middle-class citizens can no longer deal with high taxation. Most of Greek households are struggling to pay their past debts, while at the same time they accumulate new debts as they cannot afford to pay for current taxes.
The Greek government expects to collect 11 billion euros in the second half of 2014. However its target won’t be met unless tax evasion is dealt with.