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Doctors, electricians and plumbers are the biggest tax dodgers

23 February 2013 / 15:02:24  GRReporter
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According to a survey by the sociological agency GPO, commissioned by the National Confederation of Greek Trade, doctors, plumbers, electricians, lawyers, notaries and hoteliers are the biggest tax dodgers. In parallel, respondents believe that more than half of the Greeks evade taxes consistently, but only 16.4% of them admitted having done so.

These are mainly men (24.7%) and people with incomes above 2,000 euro per month (23.1%). Some 46.3% of respondents said that they have been involved in a tax fraud (e.g. when they do not want a receipt). As for small and medium-sized businesses, 34.9% said that they have experienced serious frauds, 39.5% reckoned these were moderate, and 22.1% - insignificant. At the same time, six out of ten respondents (58.4%) believe that small and medium-sized businesses evade taxes to a lesser degree compared to large firms.

Some 43.6% of respondents believe that businesspeople were primarily responsible for tax evasion, while 41.7% shared responsibility between businessmen and consumers. The majority of small businessmen who took part in the survey (86.5%) believe that the current economic situation is not favourable for entrepreneurial activities in Greece. According to representatives of small and medium-sized businesses, the two main problems of the Greek economy included the unstable tax system (49.4%) and bureaucracy (48.2%). Other important issues included low competitiveness of Greek products or services (17%), financial deficit (15.5%) and low employment rate (12%).

Respondents listed the three main problems in the operation of small and medium-sized businesses. These included lack of liquidity (61.6%), high taxes (56.4%) and low demand from customers (46.8%). Furthermore, problems also included high operating costs (34.5%), strong competition from cheaper imported goods (26.9%) and competition from large companies (23%).

The majority of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses were optimistic about the future of their companies and the Greek economy. Specifically, 39.6% were a bit optimistic about the future of their company, and 40.7% were a bit optimistic about the future of the Greek economy. Those who were not optimistic were 29.7% and 40.2%, respectively.

Some 66.6% of the sample stated that they were satisfied with the economic policy of Greece. The percentage was slightly higher among firms with a turnover of less than 50,000 euro. Percentages on the imposition of a single tax rate were almost equal - 52% "for" and 48% "against". The majority of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses did not want their stores to open on Sundays (70.8%). The degree of awareness of small and medium-sized businesses in terms of programmes for the enhancement of market liquidity was relatively low. Some 27.3% said that they were not informed at all, 32.1% - that they were not adequately informed, and 40% said that they were very well or adequately informed on the subject.

Another 74.4% of the sample said that they had resorted to changes in the organisation and functioning of their companies because of the economic situation. The percentage was higher than the average for companies with a turnover exceeding 150,000 euro (81.6%). Most of the companies that resorted to such changes said that they had reduced the company's activity (30.1%) and fired employees (29.3%). Changes also related to the reduction of wages (15.2%) and working time (10.7%). However, 68.2% of the companies that took part in the survey said that they are not thinking of cutting wages and laying off employees in the coming period.

  • The majority of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses believe that the current economic situation is not favourable for entrepreneurial activity in Greece;
  • The unstable tax system and bureaucracy are the main problems of the Greek economy, according to them;
  • The most important problems in the operation of small and medium-sized businesses include lack of liquidity, high taxes and low consumer demand;
  • Most representatives of small and medium-sized businesses are not optimistic about the future of their business and the Greek economy;
  • The majority of them are not satisfied with the economic policy of Greece;
  • The majority of them do not want their stores to open on Sundays;
  • Opinions on the single tax rate are divided almost equally;
  • Most companies have little or no knowledge of programmes aimed at the enhancement of liquidity;
  • Most companies have resorted to changes because of the economic situation - reducing activities and lay-offs.
Tags: sociological survey small and medium-sized businesses tax evasion
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