Greece’s budget lost 5.3 billion euros from VAT evasion

Despite efforts to reduce tax evasion and improvements over the past, Greece remains at the top of the European Union in terms of value added tax (VAT) revenue losses, with the public treasury losing billions of euros every year.

Greece lost € 5.3 billion in VAT in 2019, ranking second in the EU’s VAT revenue list in 2019, according to the Commission, losing 25.8% of its revenues. Romania is in first place, having lost 34.9% of VAT revenues. However, it is noted that the VAT losses for Greece in 2018 were estimated at 29%, with a percentage decrease in 2019.

Malta is ranked third on the list of the national VAT deficit at 23.5% compliance. In contrast, the smallest VAT deficit was observed in Croatia (1.0%), Sweden (1.4%) and Cyprus (2.7%). In absolute terms, the largest VAT losses were recorded in Italy (30.1 billion euros) and Germany (23.4 billion euros).

EU member states lost € 134 billion in VAT in 2019, according to a new study by the European Commission released today.

Paolo Gentiloni, Economic Commissioner, said: “Despite the positive trend in recent years, the VAT deficit remains a serious problem, especially given the huge investment needs that our member states have to meet in the coming years. According to the data of the current year, this is a loss of more than 4,000 euros per second. This is an unacceptable loss to national budgets and means that the burden of covering the deficit falls on ordinary citizens and businesses at the expense of other taxes they are required to pay for vital public services. “We must make a concerted effort to tackle VAT fraud, a serious crime that takes money out of consumers’ pockets, undermines welfare systems and drains government coffers.”

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