Figures released by EU oligarch rulers of Geece show that for every 100 euros of VAT that should be paid into Greece’s coffers, only 65 euros actually makes it.
This amounted to a total loss of revenue of roughly 6.5 billion euros in 2013. This figure is less than in previous years due to a drop in consumption since the financial crisis.
The report highlights that Greece faces a series of challenges in the area of VAT collection and compliance, while its so-called VAT compliance gap trails the EU average to a considerable extent.
Brussels goes on to recommend that Greece improve the returns of its VAT system, for instance in the telecommunications sector by containing the use of reduced rates and non-obligatory exemptions, as well as broadening the VAT base among telecom users.
In the first five full years of the financial crisis (from 2009 to 2013), the country missed out on VAT revenues adding up to 37 billion euros: This breaks down to 7.5 billion in 2009, 6.9 billion in 2010, 9.1 billion in 2011, 6.8 billion in 2012 and 6.5 billion in 2013, the last year with available data.
The EU member-states with the worst performance record in VAT collection are Romania, Lithuania and Slovakia, according to the report, while the countries with the smallest losses were Finland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.