In order to apply the relevant provision of the Code of Tax Procedure, certain categories of persons, e.g. banks, Hellenic Post, insurance companies, etc., are obliged to automatically provide information to the Tax Administration regarding their financial transactions with taxpayers.
These figures are cross-referenced with taxpayers' tax returns and used to select cases to be audited e.g. when living costs are higher than stated earnings). After processing all the data available to the tax-audit authority, compared to the stated annual income, discrepancies can automatically arise and possibly obscured taxable material may be identified.
In particular, credit and financial institutions (banks), clearing agents using payment cards and payment institutions operating in Greece, Hellenic Post, Hellenic Exchanges SA, and investment firms are obliged to submit to the Ministry of Finance statements in an electronic file with data concerning:
(a) The amount of credit and debit interest on deposits and repos acquired in the previous year and the amount of tax withheld, together with the details of the beneficiaries / co-beneficiaries, such as name, surname, tax registration number and reference calendar year. In essence, it refers to earnings from capital, which we see pre-filled in tax returns.
b) Data on deposit accounts and / or payment accounts of individuals, which show either a total annual charge or total annual credit transfer (i.e. remittances, withdrawals / deposits, etc.) of more than EUR 100,000 (note: credit and debit is not summed up). No account is taken of any forward-looking statements and transfers of amounts between accounts with joint beneficiaries.
c) Portfolio of natural persons in transferable securities, dated 31/12 of both the reference calendar year and the previous one, with a monetary value in excess of EUR 200,000. This limit is calculated per investor, i.e. the portfolios in which a natural person is involved. If more than one beneficiary is involved in a portfolio, it is shared equally.
(d) Hellenic Exchanges shall submit dividend data distributed to natural and legal persons in the previous calendar year by listed companies listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.
(e) Monies actually paid for amortized depreciation of loans, including interest accrued and paid, as well as interest on late payments.
(f) In addition, credit card or debit card clearing institutions (banks, etc.), including take-back transactions in Greek ATMs, inform on payment card transactions issued abroad by a credit institution with a head office outside Greece.
(g) Credit and financial institutions, payment institutions and Hellenic Post shall inform on data relating to:
• Credit transfers, remittances, direct debits and bank checks of their clients (natural and legal persons) for the transfer of funds abroad.
• Proceeds of these businesses via credit cards.
In addition to the above, the following companies are required to submit data:
i. Private insurance companies for life insurance, death, personal accident and sickness insurance contracts concluded with natural persons.
ii. Private clinics / clinics provide evidence of medical operations / interventions (e.g., the number of doctors who performed the surgery). Costs related to diagnostic tests or visits to medical reports are not included.
iii. Private schools at all levels of education, colleges, branches of foreign universities, private Institutes of Vocational Training, free workshops, vocational and technical schools submit tuition fees and payments for additional benefits (student transfer, nutrition, etc.).
iv. Fixed and mobile telephony companies, electricity companies and water companies are required to submit their subscriber data.
G. Samothrakis, J. Panou
Posted on Sunday newspaper, “Kathimerini”, on 03/04/2018