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Grotesque Greece: Homeless distributors of street magazine to be charged with social security contributions

Greek bureaucracy and lenders’ pressure can and do indeed often create grotesque situations. This happened also distributors of  “Shedia” an Athens-based weekly magazine sold for the aim to help homeless people and socially isolated members of the Greek society.

Ever since its establishment in 2010, the magazine has been sold for 3 euros with half of the revenues to go to the pockets of the homeless seller and the other half going to cover the magazine cost.

But now the Greek Finance Ministry is implementing the lenders’ reforms by the book and demands that the homeless sellers have to be insured.

In real homeless life, this means that 20% of the revenues will have to go as social security contribution and another 6.9% for health care.

That is that 40 cents from €1.50 will have to be paid to social funds.

NGO Diogenes that publishes the magazine and supports homeless and socially excluded citizens with a series of events and activities announced that the price of Shedia will go up to 4 euros in order to cover the extra expense demanded by the Greek authorities.

In absolute terms, from the €4.00

  • €1,50 will go as direct revenue to distributor/seller
  • €0.64% is the tax and special fee (23.6%)
  • €0.56 is the social security and health care contribution (26.95%)
  • €0.24 goes for value Added Tax (6%)

The social security contributions have to be paid by the seller and therefore, 2.70 euros out of the 4.00 will have to be cashed by the seller in order to be able to give his contributions to the state.

The remaining €1.06 will be withheld by the organization in order to cover operating needs like  the cost of the magazine printing which takes the lion’s share but also the developing of new social projects as well as maintain the existing ones.

Left: tax & other distributions of revenues of the 3 euros in 2017

65.43% : sellers’ salary, 20% tax, 3.6% fee

6% V.A.T.

12.89% printing expenses

15.68% other costs like rent, utility bills, salaries etc

Right: tax & other distributions of the new price.

67.5% seller’s salary Plus: 20% tax, 3.5% fee, 26.7% social security contributions

6% V.A.T.

9.75% printing cost

16.75% other expenses as  in 2017

The measure of charging social security contributions on so-called “recipes for professional expenses” went into effect on 1.1.2018.

  • I hope the finance ministry will not demand the failing contributions  retrospective.

On the bright side of the new measure, NGO Diogenes said that some magazine distributors are happy to finally receive social security and health care. Especially the older members of the group they may even hope for a small pension as they will be collecting pension stamps.

On the dark side of the measure, many distributors feel now insecure about what will come next.

Generally speaking: No wonder prices go up and quality goes down, no wonder many prefer to migrate instead of setting up a small business here and give more than 60% of their revenues to the state.

No wonder, the vulnerable groups of the society will have to feed the social funds because nobody ever form those who looted the Greek social funds has ever found the way to prison or saw his properties and assets in secret bank accounts abroad seized.

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  1. Could someone explain the 60% from your revenue to the state? Is it combined tax, social security, pension, healthcare?

  2. What else can we expect from shameless Troika grotesques & the pimping mafia in the parliament.

  3. ..And 60% is being generous. In a small business, often the ‘minimum contributions’ to things like TEBE/EFKA alone will eat a huge percentage of the income. Consider a realistic case of someone who works his ass off to take in about 10K a year after expenses. He’s got right off the top 24% VAT to pay on 100% of that. That leaves 7600. On this he has to pay income tax of 22%, plus TEBE/EFKA of 26%. Yes they tax you on the amount you pay to the ‘insurance’ system. That leaves 3952. Then someone trying to live off of that amount, wait, he has a house? bam, imaginary ‘imputed’ income on which they slap more tax. wait, he has a car? bam, more imaginary ‘imputed income’ on which they slap more tax. Wait, he’s still breathing with a pulse? bam, another imaginary 5000 bucks of ‘imputed’ income just for being alive! Then he’s got the ENFIA and car road taxes to pay, lets be conservative and say he has a small house thats been in the family a long time, and he has a 20 year old piece of junk car which he still needs to get around or else he might lose even what little business he has. so he has another 5 or 6 hundred minimum in those taxes, plus another 500 or so in extra income on ‘imaginary’ income the state decides he took in just because they said so. He’s down to 3000 in his hands, that is, about 250 bucks a month to live on… and everything he buys with that enormous wealth of his, another 24% of it goes straight to the state and not to what he’s buying.

    But also recall that the TEBE/EFKA is _minimum 167 / month , or 2000 a year, even if you have NO income at all, just because you have a business. Our fellow who managed to take in 10K will pay more but lets consider grandpa selling chestnuts or whatever –
    maybe he pulls in 5000 a year. he pays 1200 of that in VAT , leaving 3800. On this he pays 22% income tax, or 836, plus 2000 in TEBE/EFKA , the minimum amount he can pay. This leaves him less than 1000 a year left. Lets say grampa has no car, but he still has the family house. The imaginary income for his daring to still be alive, plus his house, will bring him close to 9K in ‘taxable income’ , plus the ENFIA etc on the house will probably eat almost anything left.

    And we havent yet even thought that to manage all this idiotic buracracy one has to run every three months to the accountant with a bucket full of papers , reciepts etc, and when you have to pay the accountant a few hundred bucks a year for the privilege as well. That’s not a tax? well it’s still coming out of my pocket and going into the hands of people who have been given that power by the state.

    Then there’s the ‘pre-payment’ of next year’s taxes (or the next after that, or after that) , which they want up front as well. You might say but last year’s ‘prepayment’ counts against it.. This might be true but it means a liability every year for double the taxes they decide they want you to pay, and also means that for years they have more or your money in their pockets. Will they ever give it back?

    the whole system is rigged ever more to only allow huge companies to survive, and push invididual humans into debt, poverty, and dependence.