Deputy Finance Minister Haris Theocharis proposed doubling the exemption threshold from €10,000 to €20,000 during an interview on Greek radio.
The Finance Ministry is tackling a taxing issue affecting thousands of freelancers and small professionals, causing a huge administrative burden. These individuals, with low incomes, create excessive paperwork but contribute very little to tax revenue. It’s estimated that those required to submit VAT declarations with annual gross incomes up to €20,000 contribute merely 2% of this tax’s total revenue.
The aim is to curb excessive administrative costs, redirect resources from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR), and focus on larger entities capable of significantly contributing to the Treasury. Compared to other European countries where the threshold is €30,000 or higher, this adjustment aims to streamline tax checks and target major tax evaders.
The Greek economy’s digital transformation is seen as an opportunity. Plans to implement electronic invoicing by 2024 and increase Point of Sale (POS) system usage will enhance audit capabilities, especially in high-tax evasion sectors like healthcare. Theocharis believes digitization will limit tax evasion opportunities, integrating hidden financial practices into the tax system. He stresses the need to revamp the tax authority, freeing it from counterproductive tasks.
Theocharis also highlighted digitalization’s potential in combating fuel smuggling by cracking down on gas stations manipulating records to overcharge consumers. This requires coordinated efforts across ministries and strict law enforcement, including closures and license revocations for non-compliant stations.