The island’s Tax Department last year used whatever weapons it had to ensure that the state collects what it is owed. It has also proceeded with criminal and civil law suits against natural and legal persons.
In addition, it strengthened collection measures by putting a MEMO on properties and confiscation of bank deposits to pay whatever is due.
At the same time, the Department has sent letters to 2,500 debtors asking for payment through the tax arrears scheme which expired last January.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s annual report for 2018, the year’s debt amounted to €2.5 billion. Of this, an amount of €1.5 billion is included in non-current receivables, whereas debt which is immediately due for collection stands at €1.06 billion.
In December 2018, total taxes under collection measures were €367.1 million compared to €442.4 million in 2017. The net receivable amount of tax due before the bank account confiscation measure was enforced stood at €693.6 million.
Last year, the Department’s collected funds stood at €4.3 billion and rose by €420 million compared to the previous year. The largest annual increase was recorded in VAT revenue (+ € 298.3 million) and income tax (+€ 89.7 million). On the other hand, the state lost revenue of €10.6 million due to the abolition of the extraordinary contribution of employees.
Meanwhile, the number of taxpayers has increased following measures taken to strengthen tax compliance. By end of 2018, the tax base for direct taxation included 886,345 active files. And the indirect tax base included 95,280 active files. The direct tax base increased by 32,031 taxpayers due to the registration of new legal and natural persons for income tax purposes. The indirect tax register showed an increase of 4,606 taxpayers.
At the same time, the Department last year returned taxes amounting to €486.8 million compared to €259.7 million the previous year.