Financial News: Finance ministry meeting on fighting tax evasion

A team of government ministers held a meeting at the finance ministry on Wednesday to discuss the national operational programme to fight tax evasion, which is finally to be presented in detail on Monday instead of Thursday, as originally planned. Attending the meeting were Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, Regional Development and Competitiveness Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis and Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister Haris Kastanidis.

The operational programme will outline a series of actions to restrict tax evasion, proposals for institutional changes to the tax system and measures to better coordinate and improve the operation of tax, judicial and prosecuting authorities.

It is expected to include measures and targets covering a three-year period from 2011 until 2013, in the framework of government efforts to restrict tax evasion and boost revenues. Among others, the measures will focus on inspections of individuals declaring low income that does not match their standard of living, VAT returns and restricting contraband trade.

Meanwhile, in an announcement on Wednesday, the finance ministry announced plans to conduct spot checks of tax statements submitted by a random sample of tax-payers each month, as soon as tax statements are received, in order to check that they have gathered enough receipts to be eligible for the tax-free allowance.
The ministry said that it would also take into account the ratio of income declared and receipts produced and amount of tax rebate due.

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