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Coalition gov't party leaders meet to finalize package of measures

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The leaders of the three parties supporting the coalition government -- prime minister and New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis) -- will meet on Thursday morning to examine the package of new austerity measures to cut state spending by 11.5 billion euro in the next two years (2013-2014), which include changes to the taxation for freelance professionals and for salary and pension earners.

The package of new austerity measures must be finalized by September 28, at which time Council of Financial Experts president Panos Tsakloglou will present the Athens-Troika agreement to the Euro Working Group, finance ministry sources told AMNA earlier in the week.

Sources told AMNA that the package of measures foresees drastic changes to the regime under which freelance professionals are taxed, with the introduction of a uniform 35 percent tax rate on profits, and will apply to the total of their net profits as it also foresees abolition of the current 5,000 euro tax-free ceiling.

The measures further foresee a reduction of the highest tax rate from the current 45 percent to 35 percent, on the basis of which the incomes of salary and pension earners will be taxed, as well as maintenance of the 5,000 euro tax-free ceiling. This, combined with other adjustments to the tax scales and rates, is expected to reduce the tax burden on salaried taxpayers.

Also being mulled is application of the new measures on 2012 incomes (which are declared in 2013), so as to increase the tax revenues anticipated from the measures to 3 billion euro against the initial target of 2 billion euro.

SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY

Last Updated Thursday, 27 September 2012
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