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Today’s Top Headlines

Greece Agrees To Widen Tax Base

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

11 April 2017

Greece has agreed the outlines of a deal with its creditors to secure additional bailout funding, including measures to widen the tax base.

Under the plan, Greece will lower the threshold at which personal income tax becomes payable in an attempt to increase tax revenues. It is expected that changes to the threshold would be introduced in 2020.

Those institutions which have provided loans to Greece during its ongoing fiscal crisis have consistently urged the Greek Government to put in place reforms to increase tax revenue, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a report that echoed previous years' recommendations, the IMF said in February 2017 that Greece must broaden its income tax base, tackle evasion, improve its tax administration, and chase tax debtors.

The report said that Greece's inefficient tax system has resulted in tax revenue collections that, compared with the size of the economy, are among the lowest in Europe, while tax rates are high.

The IMF also last year that a generous tax allowance allows around half of households to escape income tax. By comparison, on average, only eight percent of households are exempted from income tax in the eurozone.

TAGS: tax | value added tax (VAT) | International Monetary Fund (IMF) | tax thresholds | tax rates | Greece | individual income tax | Europe

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