Greek banks will be assigned with the role of the big brother and will monitor when a safe deposit box is visited by its owner, respectively the tax payer. The banks will record every move by the box owners and report it to the tax office if and when necessary, Greek media report on Friday. On its part the tax office will be able to know every visit by the owner.
Safe deposit boxes are obviously a no-fly zone for the tax authorities that think they will get more knowledge if the moves are being monitor.
itors. It breaks secrecy for cards and loans.
Based on the decision by Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou, banks should record every move of those who have rent a box as of beginning of March.
The tax office will be able to know in detail how many times the owner visited the safe box and how much time he spent in the area of the deposits.
Aim of the tax office is, of course, nothing more than combating tax evasion.
For course, legislation does not allow the opening of safe deposit boxes by a third party, unless there is a prosecutor’s order. So the tax office will only know details of minor or zero importance.
However, banks will be obliged to inform the tax office requesting whether a specific person under investigation has a safe deposit box.
Based on the ministerial decision, the bank will be required, upon request, to provide all the information provided by the law.
Papanatsiou’s decision will only allow audit authorities to activate other procedures such as the denying the owner’s/taxpayer’s access to the box content.
The opening of a safe deposit box and seizure of its content remains possible only if there is a court order or a public prosecutor’s order and only for the cases of tax evasion or felony offenses.
Tax authorities can confiscate the content of a deposit box only with court or prosecutor order.
Banks are required to disclose the name of the bank account holder to the tax authorities, but in no case do they have access to the content of the safe deposit box.
With the decision published, the Finance Ministry in fact tells Greeks to empty their safe deposit boxes before March.
PS I am delivered to temptation to rent a safe deposit box and put one kilo of beans or lentils inside. I could go then every month and count the legumes one by one. For which do you think I will need more time? I could also fill it with dry cat food, but then I’d need to go every day.