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Greek Tax Authority Cheats Tax Payers

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Greek Tax Authority Cheats Tax PayersHere is why the Greek people do not trust the Greek government and the tax authorities.  The other day I thought myself unfortunate to have to go to the Greek tax authority in my area.  I would later learn that I would actually receive a refund, better late than never.

I caught a discrepancy between taxes charged and my payments.  After collecting the necessary information, I decided to send the Greek tax authority a message through their automated TAXIS system.

The message included every piece of information that would be necessary for a tax agent to make the correction, and then I waited for an answer.

Interestingly, the answer came the next day but the person who responded simply said that they could not make the correction without me going to the tax office.
I expected this was going to be their typical answer.

The next day I visited the tax office with the same information printed from my computer.  I handed the printed page to the tax agent after learning which window I had to go to.  There is no information booth or kiosk at the offices of the Greek tax authority.
The agent ask me to explain even though everything was already written on the paper so I explained very quickly that I issued a payment using the previous month identification codes and therefore it should appear that the tax payment for the previous month was doubled.  The agent began to correct it on the computer screen and then printed 4 pages for the month in error along with the next 2 months, totaling 12 pages of paper.

I was astonished by the ridiculous waste of paper but this is only part of the tremendous waste and abuse of tax payer money that the Greek government continues today.

Then the tax agent instructed that I take the papers to another 2 windows, again the bureaucracy continues to have the paperwork stamped before I could finish.

Now the icing on the cake, at the last window, the tax agent informed me that my wife and I owed no taxes as a result of the payment correction.  Then the tax agent informed me that I have a credit amount of several hundred Euros.

Once again I was astonished as no one in their right mind would give the Greek tax authority more money than should receive.  I asked where did this credit amount arrive from and was told that there was another discrepancy at another time.

If you don't ask questions in Greece, you will never learn what is happening.

I asked when was this credit amount from and the tax agent informed me that it was from 2014.

So in other words, the Greek tax authority made a correction for some difference and never informs the public that they have a credit, they just use our money and don't say anything or issue a refund.  They do not even send you a notification through their computerized tax system.  Don't expect a telephone call or a notice through the mail because they never do that.

I requested the refund of the amount and was told that it could only be deposited into my bank upon providing my IBAN number.

I then asked if the amount included interest for the time that the tax authority had in their bank and was told no.

According to the law of Greek tax authority of 2014, if you owe the tax authority money, they will charge you compound interest of 0.73 percent monthly plus an additional ten (10) percent penalty charge for every two (2) months of delays.

I then asked the tax agent when the money would be deposited into my bank account and the tax agent said within two (2) months.

So the next time that you criticize a Greek for not wanting to pay taxes remember this story.


Reference:

How debts soar by the tax authorities with the new exhaustive fines - tables and examples in Greek.
Πόσο ανεβαίνουν οι οφειλές στην εφορία με τα νέα εξοντωτικά πρόστιμα - Πινάκες και παραδείγματα


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