Greeks set to face heavy fines if they don’t spend 30 per cent of their income electronically

epa06960376 The Greek flag flies next to a statue of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates in central Athens, Greece, 20 August 2018. Greece concludes the adjustment program on August 20. Greece has successfully concluded a three year European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme, EU Commissioner Moscovici said. EPA-EFE/SIMELA PANTZARTZI

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Greeks will be hit with a hefty fine if they do not spend almost a third of their income electronically in an unprecedented bid by the new government to stamp out rampant tax evasion.

The government expects to raise more than €500 million   every year from the initiative that will force Greeks to spend 30 per cent of their income electronically, Alex Patelis, the prime minister’s chief economic adviser, revealed.

Individuals that fail to meet the target will be hit with a 22 per cent fine on the shortfall. Therefore, if an individual spends just 20 per cent of their income through electronic means, they would face a 22 per cent tax on the remaining 10 per cent bar some exclusions.

The scheme is a radical attempt to cast some light on Greece’s huge shadow economy, the world’s largest, and is part of new prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s sweeping overhaul to revive growth.

Greeks can use debit cards, credit cards, bank transfers and ecommerce for the electronic transactions, which includes rent.

But many workers are paid their wages in cash, which they then use to pay their rent and bills. Greece also has one of the lowest internet usage rates in the EU at 72 per cent. This suggests that some in the country could struggle to meet the 30 per cent target.


Via The Telegraph

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