The US Internet giant Google has agreed a deal worth a total of $ 945 million ($ 1.0 billion) to end a tax dispute in France, according to an agreement announced in court Thursday. The company will pay a € 500 million tax evasion fine, as well as a further € 465 million in claims settlement with the French tax authorities.
Losses incurred by the state coffers due to tax evasion in 2014-17 were greater than the value-added tax revenue increase as a result of consecutive tax hikes, according to a European Commission report on the so-called VAT deficit (the difference between the expected VAT revenues and actual collections).
Once again, we are faced with the usual revelations of widespread tax evasion in popular summer destinations. It has been recorded in restaurants, clubs and even rented villas. Dealing with this problem, particularly in a country such as Greece where tax evasion is a long-standing malaise, requires a combination of tax cuts and stricter penalties.
The Independent Authority for Public Revenue is expected to focus in the coming days on three categories of professionals it suspects of widespread tax evasion: accountants, property realtors and auctioneers of high-value items.
Tax inspectors will be focusing on those professionals' tax returns for signs of money laundering.
At least 40 percent of businesses in well-known Greek holiday destinations are trying to cheat tax authorities out of revenue, according to data collected by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.
In inspections conducted in July, the percentage of delinquent businesses on the islands ranged from 41 to 62 percent.
A popular bar on the island of Mykonos has been ordered to close for four days from Monday after officers of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) and police suspended its operations due to tax evasion.
As the bar had also been ordered to close for two days last month for tax evasion offenses, this time the penalty was doubled.