Half of Greek Businesses Dodge Taxes

August 12, 2013 Taxation in Greece

expenses_28sept2009_0522ATHENS – Tax evasion is still rife in Greece, with business owners around the country routinely pocketing sales taxes, and hiding all records of their profits.

The results of recent on-site inspections performed by tax investigators in Greece have indicated that nearly half of all businesses in the country are evading tax in some way, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on August 9th.

In total 1 465 businesses across the country were subject to on-the-spot investigations between July 25th and August 5th, with inspectors finding evidence that 731 of the businesses had willfully carried out some form of tax evasion.

The Ministry estimates that a total of 3 904 violations were committed by the offending businesses during the course of the checks.

The highest instance of tax evasion was encountered in the Evia and Skyros, where the offense rate reached in excess of 85 percent.

The most compliant region was Ioannina, where the rate of evasion was less than 18 percent.

Shortly following the release of the results of the investigations, the Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras explained that the most common tax offense committed by the businesses was not issuing receipts for sales, in order pocket the sales taxes paid by customers, or to hide any record of the sale entirely.

Photo by patrick h. lauke