Only 2 in 5 Greeks pay income tax

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram More than 5 million Greeks did not pay income taxes for 2008, according to public documents released by the struggling nation’s finance ministry.More than six in 10 taxpayers earn less than 12,000 euros per year and are not required to pay income taxes under the Greek tax system, the press office of the Greek Ministry of Finance said Thursday.However, there is wide speculation that many Greeks are not accurately reporting their income.Most workers and professionals earned more than 12,000 euros in salary in 2008, according to the data provided by the Finance Ministry this month. The average salaried income was 19,234 euros for taxpayers and professionals earned 29,569 euros on average for the year. Farmers, ranchers and fisherman made 11,500 euros per year on average, but those workers only accounted for 390,000 people in the workforce.When asked if taxpayers are accurately representing their income bracket, the finance ministry said that “Greeks are paying the taxes assessed, though some are failing to declare all their earned income by operating in the shadow economy (e.g. by failing to issue a receipt).”“Over the past year, the Ministry of Finance has undertaken many far-reaching initiatives to reduce tax fraud and increase compliance,” which include tougher laws, improved computer systems and reorganization of the tax collections system, said Diomidis Spinellis, a general secretary with the Finance Ministry.As part of the bailout agreement with the EU and IMF, austerity measures will cut Greek pensions, except those in the lowest income bracket. The agreement, however, did not address any issues with the tax fraud investigation and how it may affect these new austerity measures.Most of the austerity measures that are part of the bailout plan will, and have, affected the lower-income workers who do actually earn less than 12,000 euros per year, spurring many of the protests across Greece.Source: CNNlast_img read more