IMF opens matter of lowering tax deductible threshold, reports say

Fund source says 3.5% surplus target means more measures

According to Greek daily newspaper “Ta Nea”, the IMF is considering proposing an additional decrease of the tax deductible threshold, if the EU institutions do not back down from the 3.5% primary surplus target for the 2018 budget. The newspaper cites an IMF source as saying that if the European partners agree to a 1.5% primary surplus target for 2018, instead of 3.5%, no further measures would be required. A top Greek Finance Ministry official responded to the rumour that no such demand had been made during talks with Greece’s creditors, while a second official made it clear that the country could not bear slashing the tax deducible threshold by even one Euro. The IMF has consistently pushed for a reduction in the tax deductible threshold, while according to the Fund’s September 23 report, tax reforms in Greece were lopsided towards tax hikes, which created a climate of divestment and acted as a counter-incentive in the labour market and the official economy. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is scheduled to talk with the EU institutions and the IMF representative on fiscal and economic matters on Monday.