Greece’s “Forolotaria” Receipt Lottery Turns Black Money Into Tax Revenue

June 22, 2023 | Reveue

DÜSSELDORF, Germany (June 20,  2023) — Athens It’s almost that time again. In a few days , the virtual lottery wheel will be spinning in Greece . Then it is clear who will receive money from the Treasury this month. The main prize is 50,000 euros. Five winners expect 20,000 euros each.

In addition, 50 prizes of 5000 euros will be raffled and 500 times 1000 euros will be paid out. “Forolotaria” is the name of the game, tax lottery. The bottom line is that the Minister of Finance allows the raffles to cost 10.8 million per year – in the expectation of collecting a multiple at the end. The draw always takes place at the end of the month.

The aim of the lottery is to make card payments more attractive and thus combat the informal economy. In Greece, it is estimated at 22 percent of the officially determined gross domestic product.

“With or without?” is usually the first question before a Greek plumber turns his attention to the defective toilet flush – meaning the receipt. Some doctors also first ask about the payment modalities before asking about the symptoms.

Cash transactions often miss the books. Card payments, on the other hand, are easy for the tax authorities to record because all card terminals in Greece have to be networked with the financial authorities in real time.

Where the tax lottery comes into play

This is where the tax lottery comes into play. Anyone who pays with plastic money automatically takes part in the monthly raffles. The lots cost nothing. For every euro that you spend with the card, you get a ticket number from the financial management computer.

So if you pay 60 euros for a visit to the dentist, you will receive 60 ticket numbers. The winnings from the tax lottery are tax-free. The organizer of the game of chance is the Forolotaria.

You can find out whether you’ve won with just a few clicks on the authority’s Internet portal. There you can see your participating ticket numbers and any winnings in your password-protected personal area.

However, the chances of winning are negligible. In 2022, the volume of card payments amounted to around 3.3 billion euros per month. That corresponds to just as many ticket numbers – but only 556 of them will be drawn.

In any case, the tax lottery seems to be meeting the finance minister’s expectations. In the first quarter of 2023, the volume of card payments increased by 18 percent. Compared to 2019, it was almost 60 percent more.

Experts from the Ministry of Finance estimate that the increased use of cards in 2023 will lead to additional tax revenue of one billion euros – a good return for the almost eleven million euros that the state distributes as lottery winnings.

SOURCE: Handelsblatt GmbH.

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