Delinquent taxpayers’ primary residences will go on the block this year and will be auctioned off at rock bottom prices, as the previous requirement that the property be sold at minimum for its tax valuation price is being lifted, and bidders can grab seized properties for the current commercial price, which is usually far lower.

This and other provisions is enshrined in a bill that the government must pass in parliament, in order to successfully close its ongoing bailout evaluation at a 22 January Eurogroup meeting.

According to the Public Revenues Collection Code, the state can seize homes, land, and other assets for a debt of a mere 500 euros and upwards.

The second step, according to a report in the daily Ta Nea, is the inauguration of online auctions, carried out at notaries’ offices, without the possibility of disruptive citizens groups’ protests.

In some cases, it may be that the price of the property placed on the block is not enough to cover the debt to the state, in which case the debtor not only loses his or her property, but also continues to owe a large chunk of the overdue taxes, leaving open the possibility for the seizure of more assets.

Until know, property auctions were carried out for debts of 100.000 euros or more to the tax bureau. The starting bid was the tax valuation of the property, which most often is higher than the current commercial value.

In the initial phase, the finance ministry plans to auction off around 2,000 properties of debtors who owe the taxman 50,000 euros or more.

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