Greece Unleashes 'Soft' Cash Ban
Tuesday, 03 January 2017

The spread of global cash bans continues with Greece unveiling their so-called 'soft' approach by which taxpayers will only be granted tax-allowances or deductions when payments are made via credit or debit cards. As KeepTalkingGreeece reports, the new guidelines refer to employees, pensioners, farmers, and also the unemployed.

Accepted expenditure will be:

  • purchases for food and supermarket products, electronic and electric devices, household equipment, footwear, clothing, fuel, furniture, cigarettes, drinks
  • Restaurants, cafeterias,bars and hotels
  • Services like by hairdressers and beauty parlors, gyms and dance schools, car repair, plumbers, electricians, painters, carpenters, lawyers and accountants.
  • For doctors and pharmacy the same practice will be valid as in last year. The tax office will accept the expenditure only if payments are made per credit card or bank transfer.
  • Expenditure for utility bills, landlines and mobile phones, heating, rent, loan repayments that in fact swallow the largest amount of monthly expenditure for private households will not be accepted. Also not accepted is expenditure for toll and transport tickets.

In its “wisdom” the Greek Finance Ministry has determined the amount the taxpayers will have to pay with electronic money in order to be able to get the tax allowance:

  • 10% for annual income up to €10,000
  • 15% for annual income €10,001-€30,000
  • 20% for annual income over €30,001

The famous Greek wisdom in times of austerity, bailout agreements and economic crisis remains the same also in 2017 and as neoliberal as possible since 2010: crack the low and medium incomes, let the rich fly free

  • income €7,000: expenditure per plastic money must be €700
  • income €10,000: expenditure per plastic money must be €1,000
  • income €30,000: expenditure per plastic money must be €4,500
  • income  €60,000 expenditure per plastic money must be €12,000

Should a taxpayer not be able to spend the necessary percentage of the annual income according to the guidelines, the punishment will be a penalty of 22% imposed on the missing difference.

I heard on television that couples will have to spend separately – but better check with your accountant. The average taxpayer in Greece needs an accountant anyway, someone who will follow the revenue-expedience balance month by month for the sake of the tax office.

In the bizarre Greek world we live in, households will be obliged to spend money even if they do not want to. As the large part of monthly need coverage (utilities etc) is not accepted by the tax office, households who do not manage to reach the necessary percentage through supermarket percentages will have to go and spend like crazy in retail, dance schools and gyms and other goods and service providers.

Exempted from the compulsory usage of credit/debit cards are seniors over 70 years old, residents of remote areas and people with disability over 80%. I suppose they will have to continue the collection of paper receipts.

KTG understands that with these new system, taxpayers will not need to collect the stupid receipts from cash register, where the amount had faded away when they were supposed to be brought to the tax office in a huge plastic bag.

The cap for cash transactions falls from 1,500 until 31.12.2016 down to 500 euro. In simple words: any purchase of good and service over 500 euro will need to be done via plastic money.