(Greece) – The Greek Finance Ministry is currently drafting a bill that will give tax breaks to those who use credit and debit cards when they are making purchases. Once the bill is drafted, it will be tabled in the Greek parliament so that members can vote as to whether or not it passes. Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis is responsible for drafting the bill in collaboration with various employees from the General Secretariat of Information Systems. One the bill is finished, it will head to the Greek Parliament.
The bill proposes that those who spend 10-30% of their income making purchases using a credit or debate card will enjoy decreased rates on their income taxes. The income is calculated on a sliding scale. For instance, those who make 10,000 euros a year will be required to charge 10% of their income using plastic payment options, those who make 20,000 euros a year will need to charge 15%, and those who make up to 40,000 a year will need to charge 20%. Other features of the bill will include incentives designed to encourage people to make payments online. Incentives include state lotteries, cash returns, and more.
The finance ministry has said that this measure is designed to help combat tax evasion, which has been a problem in Greece. Over the years, various schemes to combat tax evasion have been enacted. For instance, many areas in Greece are fairly remote and efforts have been made to increase tax collection strategies that reach some of these areas. Back in 2011, Evangelos Venizelos, the finance minister in Greece at the time, encouraged all people who owed more than 150,000 euros to pay the government what they owed. Those who didn’t pay were added to a list, which was made publicly available. However, tax evasion and tax collection issues remain problematic in Greece.