eKathimerini newspaper reported via an article yesterday(link) that a European Commission report on VAT collection across Europe lists Greece as having an annual VAT deficit of only 5.4 billion euros.
As I read the article, the data collected goes only through 2014 and there is no reference to the VAT increase to 24% VAT that people pay on goods today.
Locally I have noticed that this summer many more valid receipts have been issued, especially from traditional avoiders such as tavernas and restaurants. In the big cities (Athens and Thessaloniki) proper receipt compliance seems close to 100% for everyday purchases. This unofficial figure of mine does not cover big ticket purchases as I haven’t made any.
Typically August is a big month for VAT revenues as people go on vacation and touristic centers are obliged to kick in their share of collected VAT. Naturally, with many businesses on the financial edge, so much money flowing into a location tempts an owner to try to hold on to a little to pay other expenses. It also temps the tax payment enforcers to have a “working holiday” in touristic places to enforce compliance.
As the article states,“The data make it clear that the increase in VAT rates does not just fail to bring more revenues to the state but also expands tax evasion, as many enterprises simply stop issuing receipts in order to keep prices low.”
What did the Troika big shots expect?