IMF Makes Suggestions For More Taxes – Ti pinoun kai Den Mas Dinoun?

When men in three-piece suits who make more on a monthly basis than the average Greek citizen makes in a whole year make “suggestions” on how to reform an economy then maybe they should first take a walk around the city and talk with a couple of people before whipping out their calculators. These people are far from reality, it is almost like they are provoking us as a people to revolt against everything! Talk about a pillage of a nation! In a 100 page report, these three-piece golden boys who were commissioned by the government last October to provide technical assistance in the area of tax reforms, “suggested”, among other things, a doubling of Value Added Tax (VAT) and tax on deposits, bonds and rents. But that is not all… here are a few more of their “suggestions”. Telika… ti pinoun kai den mas dinoun?

  • Abolition of the minimum rate of 6.5% and 
  • They want to increase the VAT rate on hotels, medicines, books, magazines and theater tickets to 13 percent from a previous 6.5 percent to generate 360 million euros
  • The imposition of a single VAT rate 19% -21% on all goods and services (other than hotels and tour packages that may be subject to a reduced 9% or 11%). This represents an increase from 13% to 19% or 21% VAT which will be slapped on food, medicine, electricity, water and gas bills, public transport tickets, taxi fares, medical visits and examinations, medical care etc.
  • The elimination of the 30% reduced VAT rate that was applicable to the Aegean islands. This means that an increase will be slapped on island residents. That means that the present 5% – 9% tax rate will now rise to 13 percent, while islands that currently pay a 16 -19 percent tax rate will now have to pay 21 percent for all their goods and services. (Reminder some of our islands do not even have clinics)  
  • They want to increase annual gross revenue for businesses at normal VAT status from the present 10,000 euros on sales of goods and 5,000 euros for the provision of services, to an astronomical 25,000 for both cases. This will include farmers
  • They want to impose specific excise tax on simple and sparkling wines
  • They want to impose a fixed tax on tobacco for the making of rolling cigarettes (Cigarettes have already been taxed 3 times over the last 15 months)
  • They want a modification of registration tax so that used cars can be taxed less favorably and introduce criterion on carbon dioxide emissions
  • They want the elimination of taxes in favor of third parties and collection of all revenue within the state budget
  • They want the simplification of the tax scale via the reduction of the number of tax brackets from eight to three or four, without reducing the maximum rate of 45%
  • They want the conversion of the tax-free limit to non-refundable tax credit
  • They want to impose a 25 percent tax on withholding income from dividends, elimination of the tax on dividends, and later, a decrease in this tax rate to 20%
  • They want the replacement of the value of transactions in shares that are not listed on the Stock Exchange with a capital gains tax
  • They want to establish a tax-free limit on repairs and maintenance of property, etc. as a fixed percentage of income from rents
  • They want an increase the tax rate on general partnership companies from 20% to 25%
  • They want a tax increase for internal shipping based on tons
  • They want the elimination of tax exemption of interest on bonds for banks and insurance companies (only if the economic situation of the country allows it)
  • They want the replacement of existing tax incentives with tax return on equity
  • They want the consolidation of real estate tax rates for companies between 0.6% -1% depending on the expected revenue
  • They want the elimination of the reduced personal income tax by 10% of the cost of mortgage interest on the first home. As argued, reducing interest on loans creates distortions as it causes over-investment in property
  • They want a reduction of real estate transfer tax
  • They want an elimination of tax exemption for agricultural land held by natural entities
  • They want an automatic increase in objective values ​​each year.

Although we agree with a couple of taxes, on homes, dividends, and stocks, we do not agree on the further taxing of food, shelter (for those who rent) and clothing. Enough is enough!


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