The start of the tourist season has put the tax authorities on alert. Numerous teams of auditors are preparing for “excursions” to the tourist areas of Greece in search of violators.
The desire to create an atmosphere of fear for tax evaders is forcing AADE to strengthen its state on the islands and in general in areas that receive a significant number of tourists. According to sources at AADE: “The isolation may have created many problems for companies, but we are not going to close our eyes to allowing tax evasion and refusal to issue checks.”
An indicator of the decisive attitude of the tax administration is the regularity and inevitability of inspections. They will be held daily, including public holidays, in the morning, afternoon and evening. That is, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. To implement this control, research services and ensure the timely flow of revenues to the treasury (ΥΕΔΔΕ), public financial services will be staffed in 13 main areas: Attica, Thessaloniki, Corfu, Syros, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Kos, Rhodes, Polygyros, Nea Moudania, Preveza.
The plan of active audits covers the July-September quarter, and more than 45 thousand audits are planned for the entire tourist season.
At least 70% of audits will be conducted by transferring auditors from other areas, that is, outside their territorial jurisdiction. This tactic, which has been used in recent years, has yielded significant results – it has revealed a high rate of violations. In fact, tax authorities, for example, from Athens, will conduct checks on the islands or in Halkidiki (perhaps, in some cases, vice versa) so that they are not identified before raiding restaurants or hotels, and also so that they do not have relations or connections with those being checked. In recent years, the summer audit program has identified thousands of tax evasion cases, resulting in auditors closing many businesses.
For some on-site inspections, the AADE plan includes:
30,000 on-site inspections (hidden or conventional). 10,000 partial on-site inspections (prevention) in targeted geographic areas or industries of sales establishments, or target AFM companies, or sales representatives conducted by YEDDE. 6,000 cross-checks at YEDDE boards. 720 auditors will be dispatched to field audits in areas of business that pose an increased risk of tax evasion and fraud.
In 2020, 11,477 audits were conducted in targeted geographic areas or sectors of merchants, or in targeted taxes on companies or merchants, exceeding the 2019 target of 11,300 audits. In the course of these inspections, violations were identified in 6256 companies, while the identified delays were 54.5% against the planned level of 49%.
In addition, 5,640 public audits were conducted in 2020, up from a target of 3,000.
Specific target audits in the field are information-based and target specific entities. In particular, with the goal of 720, 806 inspections were carried out, during which violations occurred in 365 companies (5282 violations), while the delay revealed during the above inspections amounted to 45.3%.