IMF Asks for Lower Income Tax Threshold for Greece



New President-elect of the Eurogroup and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem addresses the media after an Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.

According to sources, Thursday Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem called Athens to pledge its commitments to allow the participation of the IMF in Greece’s bailout program, as long as the Greek government implements the necessary measures that the IMF has stipulated.

The phone call came as the IMF has asked for a debt reduction of the income tax threshold in Greece to 5,000 euros per year, which was originally proposed by the World Bank.

The IMF has consistently stated that the Greek government has not done enough to address tax reforms as half of the salaried workers in the country are exempt from paying income taxes against only 8 percent which represents the Eurozone average.

Currently the tax threshold is at 8,636 euros. If it gets reduced to 5,000, each taxpayer will see an additional tax burden of and average 800 euros annually.

As far as the IMF participating in the bailout program, Dijsselbloem stated that “if and when the Greeks implement the terms of the program…the IMF could continue to participate.”


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