Greece Should Write Off Billions of Overdue Taxes, Report Says

Photographer: Angelos Tzortzinis/Bloomberg

More focus is needed on collection from the 1,500 biggest debtors, which make up two-thirds of the total amount owed to the state, according to an e-mailed copy of the November report from the Athens-based finance ministry today. Close

More focus is needed on collection from the 1,500 biggest debtors, which make up... Read More

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Photographer: Angelos Tzortzinis/Bloomberg

More focus is needed on collection from the 1,500 biggest debtors, which make up two-thirds of the total amount owed to the state, according to an e-mailed copy of the November report from the Athens-based finance ministry today.

Greece should write off part of the 53 billion euros ($70 billion) of outstanding taxes owed to it as it will only be able to collect up to 20 percent of that amount, a report by the European Union and International Monetary Fund showed.

More focus is needed on collection from the 1,500 biggest debtors, which make up two-thirds of the total amount owed to the state, according to an e-mailed copy of the November report from the Athens-based finance ministry today. More staff should be allocated to auditing those cases and specific targets for 2013 should be set, it said.

Greece hasn’t met five of 10 six-month targets set as part of its tax system overhaul and stronger enforcement of value added tax collection as well as speeding up VAT returns should be a priority, according to the report.

The report is based on a visit to Athens by a technical EU and IMF team between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Natalie Weeks at nweeks2@bloomberg.net

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