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Tax Authorities seize 500,000 bank accounts, collect €1.6bn in Jan-May 2016

Greek Tax Administration has been studiously taking from debtors what it belongs to the state. From January to April 2016, tax authorities have reportedly “emptied” 428,465 debtors’ bank accounts. If the seizures in May be added, the total number reaches over 500,000. In comparison: 333,776 bank account seizures last year. the slogan is: what cannot be collected gets  confiscated!

According to Proto Thema, “during an 8-hour working day, tax authorities proceed to approximately 4,300 seizures. and some 100,000 seizures per month.”

In comparison: seizures in 2014 were 7,000 seizures per month, in 2015 they 5-folded and in 2016 they 7-folded. 

“while the daily target ofr the Finance Ministry was maximum 1,200 seizures from debtors’ bank accounts, the General Secretariat of Public Revenues asked the limit to rise to 1,800 per day, i.e. a rise of 50%” Proto Thema notes adding that

“authorities seek to collect also from 3.5 million small debtors, while 17,000 owe approximately €65 billion from a total of about €90 billion outstanding debts to the state.”

In addition to bank account seizures, in the first four months of 2016:

  • 8,706 auctions took place
  • 9,810 additional confiscation orders were released
    1,423 new foreclosure files were open (3.5 times more than in 2015)
  • 1,701 mortgages were imposed on properties (4 times more than in 2015)
  • 2,339 number of criminal charges against debtors were brought up (10,782 last year)

Under the threat of seizures and foreclosures, debtors paid €1.6billion to the tax offices in the first four months of 2016 and this was old and new debts from taxes and levies.

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