An increase in tax rates is definitely not in the government’s plans, government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis stressed speaking to SKAI FM on Thursday.
He had been asked to clarify whether new taxes will be imposed on one-person businesses such as free-lancers.
A day earlier, Deputy Economy Minister, Haris Theoharis, had told naftemporikitv “We are willing to bear the political cost. We are not ruling out an increase in tax rates. Various scenarios are being considered.”
“Tax evasion is a quantity that is difficult to measure. In my estimation the undeclared incomes amount to 25-30 billion euros. Half are recoverable,” said Theoharis adding “there is no panacea against tax evasion. Multiple measures are needed, systematic in dealing with it.”
To a question about whether an increase in tax rates is expected, Theoharis replied that nothing is ruled out: “We are examining various scenarios. It is a complex issue. We are in a pre-evaluation stage, we are looking at fiscally different scenarios”.
Government spokesman Marinakis said “As in the previous four-year term, the government is here to increase the citizens’ incomes, either directly or indirectly,” and highlighted the prime minister’s announcements about tackling tax evasion and the concealment of income, in order to generate additional revenues.
This will be achieved by the measures announced by the prime minister and by Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, he added, such as linking cash registers with POS machines, expanding the use of electronic money, forbidding property transfers using cash and other measures.
After the confusion, Deputy Economy Minister Theoharis stated that there would be no tax increase to free-lancers.
The whole discussion was raised after the government said that is determined (once again!) to combat tax evasion and media reported that 7 in 10 free-lancers declared annual income of 10,000 euros.
Despite the correction regarding the tax increase, media continued on Thursday evening to stress that “free-lancers evade taxes by increasing their expenses.”
it should be noted that not all free-lance categories can add to tax expenses all the money they spend for their work including social security contributions.
As free-lancers are categorized also Phd-students, academic researchers and journalists working without contract.