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Ef. Taxation: €700 million more taxes were collected in 2023

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Mr. Markidis said that the performance of the Department will improve with the completion of the computerized system, which is expected around the end of 2025.

Εφ. ΦορολογΙασ: Το 2023 εισπραχθηκαν €700 εκατ. περισ&sigma ;ότεροι φόροι

In 2023 the Department of Taxation collected €700 million more in taxes than in 2022, with total collections amounting to €6.7 billion from €6 billion respectively, said Tax Commissioner Sotiris Markidis.< /p>

Speaking before the parliamentary Audit Committee, which discussed the Audit Service's report on the Department for the year 2022, Mr. Markidis said that the Department's performance will improve with the completion of the computerized system, which is expected around the end of 2025 .

“In 2023 700 million more were collected than in 2022 and of course the economy is doing better and we had an increase in prices, but a percentage of the increase must be credited to the Department of Taxation and of the new mechanism”, said Mr. Markidis.

The Auditor General Odysseas Michaelidis, for his part, acknowledged the “remarkable reduction” in outstanding taxes in the last two years, to add, however, that the Tax Commissioner “has cleared hundreds of thousands of tax returns by accepting without checking what the taxpayers submitted to the department “.

“He sends invoices en masse”, he said characteristically, with the Tax Commissioner replying that this position is simplified and that “we don't press a button”.

Mr Michaelidis also referred to the issue of tax refunds without checks and without choosing the offsetting tool.

He also referred to cases companies that appear to be active according to the VAT data, but do not submit any tax returns and pointed out that the Tax Department should focus on high-risk companies.

In response, Mr. Markidis said that the issues of netting must be solved through computerized systems, they concern the way the state operates. “It's not easy to make offsets if the computers don't communicate,” he added.

Mr. Markidis said that it is very important to have the right computerized systems. “We have 300,000 taxpayers, another 100,000 companies, if you don't have modern computerized systems you can't do the job as you would like,” he said, adding that the €30m computerized system is working with the first phase for indirect tax purposes and “I hope until in 2025 let's finish it”.

He also noted that in 2023 taxes were collected €6.7 billion from €6 billion in 2022 and with less staff. He acknowledged that there will always be observations and mistakes, adding that the Department wants and there should be control by the Audit Service.

He also noted that by speeding up the process “we imposed 0.5 billion in additional taxes that were in the drawers and returned around 150 million to people and companies” with this amount not including interest and charges.

As he said, around 2.2 million taxes were cleared and we managed to bring tax returns for the vast majority of the world and companies to 2021, which was the last year tax returns were filed for all companies. For individuals, he said the Department is in the process of beginning to review the 2022 tax returns and expressed optimism that by the end of the summer the volume of clearance for 2022 will begin to show.

Penalties to be increased for timely submission of declarations

Furthermore, referring to the preparation for the tax reform, Mr. Markidis said that the Department has started and is collecting recommendations that will be submitted to the Minister of Finance both for increasing collectability and for tax compliance. “Somewhere the penalties must become more deterrent, i.e. if a company does not submit on time and the fine is 100 euros”

“For us everything starts and ends in submitting the tax return,” he said. He also mentioned the abolition of cash transactions.

In statements after the end of the session, the President of the Commission, Zacharias Koulias, spoke of a “headwind” in the Tax Department after additional taxes of €700 million were collected.

“It seems that the effort made by the entire Department, headed by the Treasurer, managed to correct a lot of procedures and sent a lot of pending taxes that had been there for several years and the people responded”.

He appealed to the Minister of Finance to staff the Department since there are 120 vacant posts in the budget, saying the vacant posts must be filled before retired employees leave so that expertise can be transferred.

He referred to the Department's computerized system, saying that with the completion of the system at the end of 2025, “Income Tax will have much better results”.

For her part, DISY Member of Parliament Rita Theodorou Superman praised the increased receipts of the Department as a result of the improvement of the procedures in the Department made in previous years.

“However weaknesses remain as highlighted in the Auditor General's report and they will need to be addressed,” he said, noting reports by the Commissioner of Taxation that further improvement will come with full computerization, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2025 and will allow disabled checks for thousands of cases.

In her own statements, AKEL Member of Parliament Irini Charalambidou described the Department's computerization as “the alpha and the omega”.

“This state should finally be modernized and with the identity number the competent departments can find all the required information or with the company registration number. The Tax Commissioner cannot have to fulfill his obligations to either natural or legal persons with a tax refund and not know whether the same entities owe other services of the state, such as Social Insurance for example,” he concluded.

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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