By G. Kouros
An "avalanche" of state-mandated seizures of assets in tandem with the confiscation of bank deposits for arrears to the tax bureau and social security funds is expected over the coming months, as the Independent Public Revenues Authority will have to initiative some 2,800 seizures per day in order to meet an annual target for 2018.
Based on an operational plan unveiled last year, the authority must impose collection measures on 59 percent of taxpayers with arrears to the state, and for which it is legally authorized to do so, i.e. in cases not under appeal in the courts, for instance.
The number of taxpayers with arrears to the Greek state, regardless of the sum, and for whom the authority can initiate immediate collection measures, exceeded 1.744 million by the end of 2017.
The total number of debtors to the state - individuals and legal entities - exceeds 4.06 million, of which 1.05 million are on a list for immediate collection measures.
All total, arrears to the Greek state are just shy of 100 billion euros, of which 22.19 billion are arrears from income or corporate taxes; 27.43 billion euros are arrears emanating from indirect taxes (VAT remittances, customs duties etc.); 47.49 billion euros are non-tax revenues and 2.8 billion are "other" debts. Although the "lion's share" of the figure includes arrears dating back decades, and owed by companies no longer in operation or by taxpayers no longer alive, 13.49 billion euros are considered as "collectible".
More than half of the taxpayers with arrears, 54.1 percent, based on the authority's official figures, owe less than 500 euros; slightly more than 525,000 debtors, in fact, owe between one and 10 euros.