By G. Palaitsakis
Figures released this week by the independent authority for public revenues showed a worrying hike in the number of taxpayers, SMEs and businesses with outstanding arrears to the tax bureau, especially in the wake of last year's "tax tsunami", imposed as part of austerity measures to meet memorandum-mandated fiscal targets.
As such, individuals or business entities with arrears to the state increased by roughly 410,000 in September 2017, exceeding 4.2 million overall.
Arrears from income taxes, VAT remittances and property taxed owed for 2017 reached 705 million euros.
This development, coupled with a marginal decrease, by 192 million euros, of older arrears - prior to Dec. 31, 2016 - caused the overall figure to increase by 524 million euros. The overall sum in terms of arrears owed to the Greek state reaches a stratospheric 98.745 billion euros. The latter figure, however, includes debts dating back decades and by companies that have ceased operation just as long, and by individuals that in many cases are no longer alive.
At the same time, the independent authority cited more than 20,000 seizures of assets - primarily bank accounts - in September to cover arrears.