The finance ministry is currently scouting out mechanisms that will prevent aspiring tax evaders from erasing records of sales from their cash registers at the end of the day, Greek Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou revealed on Sunday.
This was the aim of Papanatsiou’s recent visit to the German state of Brandenburg, whose government has developed a mechanism that does precisely that, and her agreement with Brandenburg authorities to send the technical specifications of the mechanism to Greece.
The device is attached to cash registers and records all transactions, preventing all forms of tampering. Brandenburg state developed the system to combat high rates of tax evasion among freelance professionals, such as doctors and lawyers – a problem also shared by Greece.
The finance ministry’s next step will be to link all wholesale trade transactions with the TAXIS system as well. The aim is to resolve issues concerning the technical specifications of the software to be used in the link-up within the next few months. The finance ministry’s aim is to implement the measure in 2018 and they expect it will give tax authorities a picture of all wholesale transactions between businesses in real-time. This will allow extensive cross-checking of such transactions, thus tracing undeclared revenue and unpaid VAT.
Following this, the finance ministry plans to abolish the requirement that businesses supply tax authorities with comprehensive lists of the suppliers and clients, since this will be generated by the link-up with the TAXIS system.
Once this system is in place, the finance ministry intends to introduce a similar system linking cash registers in retail outlets directly with the TAXIS system, so that it can monitor all retail transactions in real-time.