Speaking to reporters, the Minister said that a bill has been approved by the cabinet which foresees that everyone is obliged to submit an income tax statement to enhance the state’s capacity to “exercise effective tax control”.
The amendment means every citizen is legally obliged to submit a tax statement whether their annual income is under the taxable threshold of €19,500 or not.
“This is a procedure that takes only a few minutes and can be done online. The changes will give the government a complete picture of the tax base and to identify tax evaders effectively.”
A second provision of the draft bill will see all businesses required to accept plastic money as payment.
“Customers will not be obliged to pay by card, but if the consumer so wishes, businesses are obligated to accept a credit card. This measure will encourage electronic payments and enhance tax control,” said Georgiades.
Failure to pay income tax a criminal offence
The new legislation will also make the failure to pay income tax a criminal offence, in line with VAT provisions.
The Minister was also asked about where things stand with civil servants’ salaries and the court case brought against the government before an Administrative Court, which ruled civil service salary cuts in 2012 unconstitutional.
Georgiades said that he did not wish to comment on the issue, as a Supreme Court decision is pending on the matter.