Greece’s Finance Ministry will scan social media and specifically Facebook and Instagram to locate tax evaders.
The social media “safari” aims to identify hidden income of individuals but also companies that do businesses via the internet, Sunday edition of newspaper realnews.gr reported.
Individuals will be checked based on the pictures they post on FB and Insta showing them in luxury vehicles, homes, yachts etc.
Auditors will use social media to gather information, such as photos of luxury products of the audited, in order to identify information that shows that they lead a luxurious lifestyle that is not consistent with the income they declare on their tax returns.
“If I post a picture in my friend’s car does not say much about my own income,” a woman commented on a relevant state ERT TV report.
An “influencer” said on her part that she deals only with companies that they don’t do tax evasion and she declares all income to the tax office.
With regards to companies, the Finance Ministry and the Independent Public Revenue Authority (AADE) is to catch taxpayers who, through their Facebook and Instagram accounts, market various products at tempting prices, but without declaring the specific transactions to the tax office as a result of which they do not pay VAT and income tax.
Tax officials will check on sales through social media, examine the number of friends of each business, as well as customer comments. Usually, the amount of tax evasion in these cases amounts to tens of thousands of euros, realnews noted obviously citing ministry sources.
PS I think to recall that finance authorities did have similar plans against tax evaders during the Greek economic crisis, at one point they were about to use also drones for this purpose. They were probably never implemented.
It’s fine to target tax evaders . . . but what about those who can post pictures of themselves starving or shivering because they couldn’t afford heating in the winter? Will the government “target” those people and offer them help?
Take your time answering . . . I’ll wait . . .
How can I know? But I can guess they are of no interest for they have no money to pay taxes
and yet they refuse to go after the biggest tax deadbeats around – by many orders of magnitude – corporations that owe tens or even hundreds of millions!
“…at one point they were about to use also drones for this purpose. They were probably never implemented.”
I think drones were used for a time, specifically to reveal undeclared swimming pools. I can’t remember the numbers now but in areas like Kifisias there was a very large multiple between the number of registered pools being used to calculate assumed income and the actual number recorded by the drones. It also prompted a quite active market in systems to disguise the existence of a pool.