Monday, May 17, 2010

Fed Up, Greece Lists Tax Dodgers

From NY

Trying to crack down on rampant tax evasion, the Greek authorities have made good on promises to name — and shame — some of the worst offenders.

The Finance Ministry made public a list of 57 Athens doctors who officials believe are guilty of a variety of tax offenses, including failing to give patients receipts for their fees or even recording the visits.

Twelve of the doctors had reported a combined income of slightly more than $15 million from 2001 to 2008, yet they had deposited more than twice that much — about $39 million — in their bank accounts, the ministry said Thursday.

Experts estimate that the Greek government may be losing as much as $30 billion a year to tax dodgers, a figure that would have gone a long way to solving the nation’s debt problem.

When the authorities audited the tax returns filed by 150 doctors with offices in one of Athens’ most expensive neighborhoods last year, they found that more than half of them were claiming incomes of less than $40,000. Such an income would have made it virtually impossible to pay the rent.

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