South Cyprus’ poor tax collection led to bailout: says Auditor-General

The South Cyprus Auditor-General, Chrystalla Georghadji yesterday lambasted the state for its years of complacency.

She said that millions of euros were owed to the state, much of which was now unrecoverable.

Whilst briefing the House Watchdog Committee, Georghadji said the state was owed 1.6 billion euro  in tax and other revenues, which have gone uncollected despite repeated warnings from her office over the years on the amount of money wasted across the wider public service.

While unpaid taxes now stood at 1 billion euro, she said, around 380 million euro owed to the state would now be written off in bad debts.

“That amount is likely to increase given the ongoing crisis,” Georghadji said, urging the state to at least make an effort to collect the unpaid taxes. “It is imperative that those whose deposits are inconsistent with their tax statements are investigated,” she said.

Georghadji said the current situation clearly demonstrated the “huge importance of timely receipt of every due payment” to the state, suggesting that if this had been done, there may not have been a need for an EU bailout for the South.

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