ATHENS – Once again, a new Greek government is promising to go after tax cheats with the Radical Left SYRIZA party moving to seize undeclared assets.
That is included in a new package of big penalties for tax dodgers who owe some 70 billion euros and have largely escaped without a single major prosecution of a prominent figure under previous governments.
Combating tax evasion is a key pillar of the government’s pledge to international lenders who pushed former administrations without success to go after those not paying and hiding assets, especially in secret foreign bank accounts.
SYRIZA also is counting on bringing in more tax revenues to finance its plans to roll back austerity and restore social spending to the country’s most vulnerable, who bore the brunt of big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and worker firings while tax evaders, the rich, business executives and politicians largely escaped sacrifice.
On the table is the confiscation of undeclared property assets, after taxpayers are given an opportunity to declare their entire assets at the Property Register.
This would mean that if a taxpayer fails to declare to the Property Register a real estate asset or an investment product, tax authorities will be able to confiscate them immediately.
The annual income tax statement will also become an official declaration of the incomes included on it.