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13 April, 2000
Greek regular budget's revenues increased 12.9 percent in March for a surplus of 225 billion drachmas in the first quarter of the year, Finance Undersecretary George Drys said on Wednesday.
Budget revenues' growth rate was 14.5 percent in the period from January to March this year, sharply up from an official target for a 3.5 percent increase.
Drys predicted that revenues would continue rising in the following months and that the budget surplus would exceed 400 billion drachmas this year. He attributed the spectacular increase in revenue growth to a more efficient VAT collection, the operation of Taxis payment system and higher income taxes resulting from improved corporate profitability.
VAT income rose 19.0 percent in March, for a 19.9 percent increase in the first quarter of 2000.
Drys said that securities tax revenues also contributed in the rising budget surplus and predicted that the government would achieve its goal for tax income totalling 350 billion drachmas from stock share transactions this year.
Drys said the Finance ministry has three priorities for the next four years: first, to improve services, second, to promote tax reform including tax cuts and third, to modernize its structure through the Taxis system and the implementation of a integrated information program in customs.
He said that the ministry would promote a project for taxpayers to submit their annual tax statements through the Internet, probably in 2001.
Source: Athens News Agency