Right now, SDOE, Greece's tax fraud squad is on safari around Greece and several establishments, mainly in the entertainment sector, have already been closed (louketo=sealed) for non-compliance with the regulations which state that in Greece cash register receipts must be issued for all goods and services provided.
There is also supposed to be a sign like the one below in every establishment saying that if you don't get a receipt, then you don't have to pay!
If you don't get a receipt, then it is unlikely that your 13% or 23% or any other % VAT will be passed on to the Greek economy and therefore be used for education, welfare, roads, hospitals or all of the other essential services funded by the State.
Of course, many will counter by saying that even if these taxes are passed on, with all the corruption around it doesn't mean that the funds will necessarily find their way to the above-mentioned services.
We counter by saying, we have to start somewhere, so let's start with the basics - the 'humble' receipt!
We all have horror stories to relate about this or that establishment and their prowess at finding ways to avoid or evade the taxes already included in the customer's bill but things have improved and they continue to improve every day.
Even taxis issue receipts while the drivers complain that the passengers never take them!!!
Let's encourage everyone to go to places that issue receipts.
Let's encourage our entertainers to entertain at places where the owners have proven themselves to be fiscally and socially responsible by issuing receipts and paying all their taxes.
In fact this is so important that we highly recommend to Greece's Ministry of Finance that it reruns the successful Αγαπάς την Ελλάδα; Απόδειξη! Campaign of the 1990s...
See the videos below and you will see that the concept of tax evasion in Greece has a timeless feeling to it... in fact in those days VAT was much lower and the amount you 'gifted' to the establishment was significant but much smaller.
So, do us all a favour, if you love Greece as much as we do, claim your receipt every single time!
Whether you are visiting Greece's magnificent islands, renting a beach chair or buggy, buying a drink or a souvenir, spending up large or small, always claim and keep your receipt!
You don't have to get ugly, just ask and if they don't bring you a receipt you can legally walk out without paying.
You can also do what a friend of ours did.
Since they didn't bring him a receipt, he just deducted the 23% VAT off the final amount and paid the balance.
The proprietors were not amused but couldn't do anything about it!