A reduction in currently punishing tax rates, cultivating a tax- paying consciousness and a better exploitation of state-of-the-art digital tools, especially an almost universal use of electronic transactions, are the primary axes for dealing with the so-called “underground” or “grey economy”, as well as tax evasion, according to the findings of a high-profile study unveiled this week in Athens.
The findings were included in a study prepared by EY and commissioned by the DieNEOsis, an ambitious new Athens-based research and policy institute. The study was presented during an event hosted by the institute and the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV), Greece’s largest employers’ group.
According to the study, tax evasion in Greece is estimated to reach 6 to 9 percent of Greece’s current GDP, which translates into 11 to 16 billion euros on an annual basis.
The figure is considered as huge, given that the Greek state annual spends 28 billion euros for all types of social security benefits; 15 billion euros for wages and 12 billion euros to finance its debt.
DieNEOsis officials reminded that no less than 250 tax bills have been ratified by successive Greek parliament since 1975, while an astronomical number of more than 115,000 ministerial decisions dealing with the tax system have been issued.