Greece’s Ministry of Finance has announced an initiative to offer citizens a bonus of up to 3,000 euros for reporting instances of tax evasion. The incentive is part of a broader movement in strengthening tax compliance and transparency in the country’s financial system.
To ease the reporting process, the Independent Directorate of Revenue (AADE) previously introduced a mobile app called “appodixi” that allows users to scan QR codes on receipts to identify potential cases of tax evasion. Reports can be submitted anonymously or with the whistleblower’s identity revealed, depending on the user’s preferences.
However, the bonus offered will be given exclusively to individuals providing non-anonymous reports. Bonus amounts will vary from 100 to 3,000 euros. It is believed that this measure will promote greater accountability and transparency in tax evasion reporting.
Since its release, the application has seen over 235,000 downloads, with users filing a total of 135,000 complaints, according to AADE.
In addition to the appodixi app, the Greek Ministry of National Economy and Finance, together with AADE, launched a citizen complaints platform accessible through the myAADE digital portal. This platform allows users to submit complaints and information related to corruption, tax, and customs violations.
Shadow Economy in Greece Constitutes 20.9 Percent of GDP
Yannis Stournaras, governor of the Bank of Greece, revealed that the shadow economy had reached 20.9 percent of the country’s GDP. He defined the shadow economy as one with unregistered transactions, including undeclared cash transactions, bribes, and unreported incomes.
Tax evasion was observed at various levels, ranging from small-scale practices such as undeclared tips of waiters to more serious issues like illegal arms sales and money laundering. Stournaras emphasized that combating tax evasion was crucial to ensuring a fair distribution of tax burdens in the country.
Greece faced significant challenges with tax evasion, particularly in the realm of indirect taxation. The governor proposed various measures, including the promotion of electronic transactions, tax incentives, and the simplification of the tax system, to address this issue.
Additionally, a study conducted by Eurobank’s Department of Economic Analysis and Research estimated that the shadow economy amounted to forty billion euros annually, representing a substantial share of the country’s GDP. The study also indicated discrepancies between declared income and consumption data, revealing the extensive scale of unreported economic activity.
Moreover, a gap was identified in the employment data, illustrating the disparity between recorded employment and the GDP. Lastly, the study brought to light that most households with business activity reported incomes below 10,000 euros, underscoring the prevalence of undeclared incomes.