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WHOA! Greek FinMin to combat tax evasion with sweepstakes lotteries for taxpayers

Greeks are inventive, capable, and never run out of innovative ideas. Remember Odysseus from the ancient times? The gene of innovation is deep rooted in our DNA. And we don’t miss a chance to take advantage of it and turn it into real profits in the real world.

The Greek Finance Ministry could not be exception to this rule.

The Greek finance dream team will offer a rich variety of incentives and featured prizes, starting from a 10% deduction of Value Added Tax up to a brand new (I hope) car or an attractive vacation for two ( I hope). Or all these prizes together 🙂

The deal

The deal will work like that:

a consumer buys a product or a service and pays with a debit or a credit card. He immediately gets 10% reduction on Value Added Tax.

Example: you buy a pack of 8 toilet paper rolls at the super market and pay 3.50 euro (23% V.A.T. inc. i.e. 0.805 euro) with a credit card. Immediately you get 10% reduction on VAT. Your profit is: 0.0805 euro. Not much? Do not complain!

The registered recipe will take part in the lottery drawings to be staged by the Finance Ministry in regular intervals (I hope).

Winners and losers

If you’re lucky you can win cash money. You can buy a one-way ticket and leave the country as soon as possible.

If you’re lucky. you can win a leisure holiday package. But do not pay the extras with your credit or debit card, as the FinMin will most likely will ask you where did you find the money for the extravaganzas in times of harsh austerity and recession and thus because your tax declaration writes annual income 6,000 euro.

Furthermore, if you pay the free-holiday extras with credit or debit card, your recipes will take part again in these non-stop state lotteries and believe me, you can find yourself in a vicious circle.

If you win the car, you’re really screwed and you should never claim your prize. It will drive your expenditure to unpredictable heights.

You will have to pay not only regular traffic fees, car insurance and luxury tax but also you will have to fill the tank. Furthermore the Finance Ministry will chase you until the end of the days, because the value of the car will be included into your “deemed – i.e. theoretical – income” and you will be taxed accordingly. Not to mention that the ministry will possibly ask you where did you get the money from to buy the car.

Maybe the Finance Ministry will find other sponsors as well and extend the prize palette to electric irons, coffee machines, laptops (I need an ice machine!). These you should only accept only if you can afford to pay the electricity bill.

Greek media that revealed this recipe-collection attraction scheme noted that it will be most likely included in the new taxation system that will be finalized in September. They also noted that the ministry revealed this scheme days after media had claimed – obviously citing sources from the economic team – that taxpayers will not need to collect recipes anymore.

God bless them, for they don’t know what they do WHOA!

The confidence between the finance Ministry and the citizens has to be restored as soon as possible AOHW!

I suspect the V.A.T. reduction for purchases via credit card will be the tiny bonus to sweeten the bitter pill that the government did not manage to persuade the Troika to accept lowering the VAT in catering services.

Soon we will see also that all purchases over 500 euro will have to be paid via credit card. Currently the limit is at 1,500 euro. So, go get your planned purchases over 500 euro now!!!

PS I know, I do not calculate the V.A.T. correctly, but generally speaking, you get the idea.



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  1. but, but, wasn’t irresponsible use of credit cards seen as one of the major ways in which people “lived above their means”? I know that the credit card debt is the next time bomb hanging over Ireland and a host of other places. to be paid after the bank debt has been paid, of course.
    And, if you are unlucky enough to win the car, does the prize include the VAT you would normally apply on that car, or not? As far as I know, I could be wrong, it is against EU law to include a vat component in a lotery prize. This must be paid separately

    output tax is due at the time the prize is awarded

    Anybody know for sure? If I’m right, your saving of €0.80 could end up being a very expensive saving inded….

    • keeptalkinggreece

      the deal aims also to help the banks via the credit cards business. A friend told me today, she had to pay 2% more because she paid with a credit card for a couple ship tickets she bought through a travel agency. not to mention th epleasure of the FinMin checking all your expenses.

      as for the saving of 0.08 (not 0.80!) euro, you can double it if you buy two packs 🙂

      • So, they didn’t make it illegal to levy a surcharge on a credit card transaction. They didn’t force banks to stop charging it to businesses. They have not even thought through the (il-)legality of their proposals… Sounds like ‘business as usual’ to me.
        By the way… Guess the grand price of a car probably will be a car with a 2000cc-plus engine and therefore the lucky winner will be slapped with a luxury tax for the next couple of years too? Some incentive this all is. Guess I will bring a suitcase full of euros the next time I head to Greece. That will, undoubtedly be cheaper than hoping to win these so called “Prices”.

      • Well, of course, credit card payments are one of the most expensive ways of paying for anything. 2% is actually fairly cheap. Just wait till it gets a little difficult and you can’t pay up in time. Interest rates on this kind of short-term credit (Credit Card, payday loan, etc) can be as high as 5,853% (no typo, five thousand eight hundred and fifty three % APR is charged by the British payday loan company Wonga).
        Your friend, and anybody else who has one of these cards, would be very wise to take that card, and any others she may have, and put the scissors to it. Once you fall into the credit trap, it is almost impossible to get out of it. Personally, I think that this kind of practice by banks (credit cards, payday loans etc) should be outlawed, immediately. It is nothing but make-believe, and a micro-version of what got all the peripheray countires into the trouble they are in.

  2. shame copy cats ……….just what japan is doing.