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Greek Tax Agency Takes Aim At HNWIs, VAT Payers

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

25 July 2014

The latest report from the European Commission's Task Force For Greece says that the country has achieved "good progress" in enhancing tax administration and enforcement, and also improving its engagement with taxpayers.

The Task Force said that Greek authorities are now focusing efforts on auditing the tax affairs of high-net worth individuals and self-employed persons with large incomes.

It welcomed the adoption of a new organizational structure for the tax authority, and recent changes to increase the tax authority's capacity and chase VAT returns and tax debts.

The Task Force says that technical assistance is continuing in a number of areas, and has been stepped up in relation to reviewing VAT legislation and strengthening the fight against VAT fraud. Three additional international resident experts have been recruited to assist the tax administration in this area. 700 tax officials have also received Task Force-backed anti-money laundering training.

The Task Force's report says that Greece's Financial Intelligence Unit has, since early 2012, reported 2,628 cases of suspected tax evasion to authorities, transmitted 472 cases to the Prosecutor's Office, and frozen assets worth EUR205m (USD276m).

The Task Force for Greece was launched in July 2011 to identify and coordinate the technical assistance requested by Greece to deliver reform commitments agreed as part of an economic adjustment program.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | tax | European Commission | value added tax (VAT) | training | VAT legislation | audit | enforcement | tax authority | legislation | Greece | tax reform | VAT compliance matters | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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