Gov't to cut tax relief from 2011 incomes

The government will abolish a series of tax relief measures, saving 0.6 percent of GDP or upward of one billion euro in tax relief, while the new rules will also apply to income earned in 2011, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos announced on Monday.
Venizelos was keynote speaker at the annual meeting of international bankers in Washington, where he outlined the measures that the government intends to take in order to meet targets for reducing the deficit in 2011 and 2012.
The minister said that the application of new rules on tax relief, outlined in a draft bill reforming the taxation system that is soon to be tabled in Parliament, will be backdated to January 1, 2011.
The ministry's goals is to establish income levels above which a tax payer will no longer be eligible for tax relief. Among the types of tax relief to be scrapped are the amounts paid in interest on housing loans and medical fees, which will continue to apply for low incomes but not high incomes.

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