Tax evasion reduces tax revenues, deputy Finmin Staikouras tells parliament
ANA-MPA -- Tax revenues as a percentage of GDP in Greece are below the European Union average, but with an over-taxation of the consistent taxpayers, as a result of tax evasion, deputy Finance minister Christos Staikouras told the Parliament on Wednesday evening during debate on the 2014 state budget.
Staikouras said that a gradual improvement in tax compliance was among factors contributing to the implementation of the 2014 budget forecasts.
"According to European Commission figures, revenues are expected to amount at 44.6 percent of GDP in 2013, compared with 45.6 percent in the EU," Staikouras said.
"But it is also true that in Greece tax rates, both for households and businesses, are higher than the European average: VAT stands at 23 pct compared with 21.4 pct in the EU, while the higher income tax rate for individuals is at 46 pct as opposed to the EU’s 39.3 pct, and the higher tax rate for legal entities is at 26 pct compared with 23.1 pct in the EU,” the deputy minister noted.
The government’s efforts will be to reduce tax evasion by two percentage points – the OECD’s latest report on the Greece’s economy estimated tax evasion at 23.6 pct of GDP, as opposed with 14.3 pct in the EU.
“A successful completion of this effort will allow reducing the tax load on the consistent taxpayers, who also face a cut in their incomes,” Staikouras said.
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