The Greek Finance Ministry is scrambling to revise the country’s tax system, as the nation faces extensive austerity measures and rising debts.
In a statement made in Athens on July 5th, the recently appointed Finance Minister of Greece Evangelos Venizelos said that the country will need to rapidly launch a number of initiatives to stem the country’s worsening recession and return the economy back to growth.
Before July 8th Evangelos Venizelos is expected to launch a government committee that will be charged with identifying, assessing, and planning means for Greek tax authorities to combat rampart tax evasion. The committee will also assist the government in its national tax collection reforms, which are aimed at reducing operating costs and eliminating the occurrence of tax fraud.
The Finance Ministry is also expected to cooperate with the committee to carry out preliminary research and planning for a new bill that is expected to be table in parliament in September. Currently it is planned that the bill will contain revisions to Greece’s personal and corporate income tax exemptions, and there will also be measures introduced to close some existing tax loopholes. The Value Added Tax system will also be updated in order to widen the tax base and boost revenues.
In his statement the Minister confirmed that the Greek government still plans to greatly reduce the number of tax offices across the country. The soon to be instated committee is expected to investigate the logistics of closing 213 tax offices by October this year. It is planned that each prefecture in Greece will soon have only one tax office, with branch office duties being handed to private companies.
Photo by tom.tziros