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Greeks Unpaid Taxes Soar $1.04 Billion

tax officeThe onslaught of continuing big tax hikes in Greece has backfired again with the Finance Ministry reporting overdue payments from citizens jumped 800 million euros ($1.04 billion) in March, bringing the total outstanding to more than 2.17 billion euros ($2.82 billion) as many people can’t afford a doubled property tax being put in electric bills under threat of having power turned off for non-payment.
The startling jump in one month was said to be not only because of problems taxpayers face but because many had been waiting to hear about the new installment schemes for debts to the state, which have only just been announced.
Tax collection in March fetched no more than 746 million euros ($972.07 million,)  while the fresh arrears of 800 million brought the total amount of debts to the state from all sectors to 57.2 billion euros ($74.53 billion.) This includes 9 billion euros ($11.72 billion) in the old debts of bankrupt companies and taxpayers, while another 3.67 billion euros ($4.78 billion) concerns old debts of state corporations and utilities, municipal enterprises and other corporations in the broader public sector.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ uneasy coalition government is still discussing plans to lower the 100 percent property tax surcharge – begun two years ago and supposedly only for one year – by 15 percent, but the New Democracy Conservative leader is resisting calls from his partners, the PASOK Socialists and tiny Democratic Left (DIMAR) to ask the country’s international lenders to allow a reduction in Valued Added Tax (VAT) for restaurants from 23 to 13 percent with tourism season beginning.

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