Cross-checking for support measure abuse

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The Greek Finance Ministry is preparing extensive checks, starting from the next phase of the “Deposit To Be Returned” program of cheap state credit, so as to identify any instances of support measure abuse.

According to a competent government source, a ministerial decision will be issued to determine the terms and conditions for the financing of enterprises that show a large drop in revenues in the period from September to December 2020.

That decision will provide for electronic cross-checking in order to identify any significant discrepancies between the content of value-added tax declarations the companies submit (with the last few months of 2020 reflected in the VAT declaration due by end-January) and the data declared on the application based on which the amount of the cheap state loans to each applicant company has been calculated.

The ministerial decision will further dictate that any enterprises which have presented “credit invoices” after September will be put forward for an extraordinary tax inspection.

The method of “credit invoices” has recently been used extensively, as many professionals have used it to present the greatest possible annual reduction in their revenues for the September-October period in order to qualify for the maximum amount of credit and subsidies.

It emerges in practice that many companies have used several methods to collect the maximum amount of state cash. Service invoicing has been postponed so as to carry some turnover over to the following month, transactions have taken place without the necessary documents, and in some extreme cases revenue invoices were issued, as if they concerned the return of goods, among others.

There was one case where an applicant for a cheap state loan presented negative turnover in September-October; they obviously failed to receive any credit after the suspicions this company raised at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue.

Such suspicions in the fourth phase of the Deposit To Be Returned led to the  fifth phase of the program only concerning companies or self-employed professionals able to demonstrate they suffered a large drop in revenues in the last four months of the year, as transferring turnover to next year is not easy.

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