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Snitching: The Only Weapon against Tax Evasion?

Angry Greeks “snitch” to combat tax evasion!

An increasing number of “snitching” cases has been recorded at the Tax Control Offices (SDOE) since beginning of the year.

According to Sunday newspaper Proto Thema, from January to May 2010, some 6.000 citizens have files complaints to SDOE. In comparison to 2009, the complaints were 4.000 during the whole year.

These figures indicate that every day more and more active citizens get involved in efforts to tackle tax evasion, the newspaper notes.

It looks as if there is a movement of ‘snitching’ citizens against those who receive money but either refuse to issue a receipt or add 60% to the total sum, adding not only the Vat but also the income tax amount they will pay.

For example if a doctor asks you EUR 80 and you ask for a receipt then the doctor will ask you to pay EURO 130 . That is the Vat + the income taxes the good doctor will give to the state.

The public complaints (anonymous and named) arrive at SDOE through 1517 four-digit telephone number or by any other means. They are evaluated and then the tax-evasion hunters start to work.

The bulk of the complaints concerns doctors, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, painters, artisans, etc.

“Snitching”  seems to be the only defense of the average citizen against those blackmailing him or making incredible profit on his shoulders, amid the worst postwar economic crisis in Greece, Proto Thema stresses.

The new tax law (3842/2010) passed in April envisaged a series of concrete measures to tackle evasion, such as:

* The ability of SDOE to impose fines that must be paid immediately

* Closures (up to 1 month) in case of relapse and prosecution.

* Universal application of the requirement to issue receipts.

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