Study: Greek state loses 16 bln euros in tax evasion each year

epa04547273 An illustration picture shows a one euro coin in water, which reflects the Greek flag, in Schwerin, Germany, 05 January 2015. The situation in Greece and the monetary policy of the ECB have caused the commom currency euro to drop to its lowest rate since 2006. EPA/JENS BUETTNER

By Maria Spiliopoulou/

Tax evasion erases about 9 percent of Greek GDP, or about 16 billion euros (17.3 billion U.S. dollars), each year, a new study by think tank DiaNeosis shows.

To walk out the some seven-year debt crisis, Greek government has increased the levies, however tax dodging remains widespread in the country and revenues poor, according to the study published by Kathimerini (Daily) newspaper on Wednesday.

For example, three out of 10 euros from value added tax due remain in tax evaders’ pockets and according to 2014 tax declarations the 1.6 percent of taxpayers (120,000 people) were paying 2.7 billion euros which amounts to 29.5 percent of the total income tax, as most Greeks declare small incomes.

The number of taxpayers declaring incomes around the tax-free threshold of 12,000 euros per year was 49 percent in 2011, and it rose to 68.9 percent in 2014. They paid 1 percent taxes from their income.

Even it’s true that a large part of Greek society has been hit hard by the debt crisis, suffering from chronic unemployment and salary and pension cuts, crosschecks by the Tax office in many cases have still revealed chronic tax evasion.

According to the authors of the report, the main causes of tax fraud are over taxation, the lack of political will to tackle the phenomenon and an unstable complex tax system.

According to the Association of Administrative Judges, Greece passed 250 tax laws and amendments from 1975 to 2015, along with some 115,000 ministerial decisions.

In the last three years, the Greek parliament passed six tax laws and another 17 laws that included 71 tax clauses. (1 euro=1.07 U.S. dollars) Enditem

Source: Xinhua