The financial situation in Greece has reached a new low, as Greek taxpayers are being told to report all privately stashed cash in excess of 15,000 euros ($15,848.25), as well as all jewelry and precious stones worth more than 30,000 euros ($31,696.50). The Greeks will have to begin reporting their tucked-away belongings starting next year.
This could represent the first step towards asset confiscation in the cash-strapped country. In the past, other countries have seized the assets of individuals who made mistakes in filling out their asset declaration form. They have also stolen assets from people who refused to fill out the forms in the first place.
Greek citizens are already required to report properties, vehicles and company holdings to the Greek tax authorities of Taxisnet. In addition to “money under their mattresses”, Greeks will also have to report their financial holdings at banks. The new reporting requirements will be filed under a new tax category of “Assets Declaration”.
In order to “encourage” the completion of this asset declaration, tax authorities will examine data from income statements to determine who is likely to hold assets in excess of the required reporting amounts. While the new rules will initially apply to lawmakers, journalists and public servants, the policy will eventually be extended to all Greek taxpayers.
Greek officials have stated that the decision has been made for the purpose of supporting and developing the economy. In total, the assets declaration form is 56 pages in length.
Notably, the asset declarations plan was theorized before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza Party returned to power in September of this year. It is likely that the European Central Bank played a big role in getting Greece to adopt this controversial new policy, although this hasn’t been proven.
Soon, even the money that Greeks keep at home won’t be safe from government inspection. The move represents yet another instance of micromanagement from the government of Greece.