Greek VAT Losses at €5 Billion, European Commission Report Says

Uncollected VAT revenues in Greece for 2015 are estimated at 5 billion euros, according to a report by the European Commission.

The report places Greece among the top three countries with the highest VAT Gap in terms of percentage in the EU (28.3%), after Romania (37.2%) and Slovakia (29.4%).

An estimated 152 billion euros in uncollected VAT revenues was lost in 2015, according to the report which is published every year by the European Union and sets out the difference between the amount of VAT due and the amount actually collected (“VAT Gap”).

The report said that in 2015, real GDP in Greece continued to shrink by almost 10% since 2011. In order to strengthen the revenues for July 2015, VAT rates were increased in various services, but resulted in an additional taxation burden of around 1 billion euros.

Real revenues, however, increased only by 200 million euros, thus widening the gap by three percentage points, from 25% to 28%.

The Commission warned that EU member-states should not allow such a high loss in revenue from VAT, so that they may be able to make full use of such revenues in their budgets.

The Commission supports efforts to improve the collection of VAT throughout the EU, but faces the problem of outdated inter-state VAT regulations, which dated to 1993, said Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici.
(Source: AMNA)