After the Income Tax Department, the Ministry of Labour is carefully examining the income declared by self-employed to determine their contribution to the Social Insurance Fund.
Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou has instructed ministry officers to concentrate on high-risk self-employed individuals and scrutinise whether the income declared for social insurance purposes corresponds to real income.
The focus is on doctors, lawyers, accountants and shopkeepers who are self-employed and who were declaring whatever income they wanted for a long time, an informed source told Phileleftheros. Because they were reporting low income, their contribution to Social Security was also low.
The same source also said that the Labour Ministry targets the specific categories and classifies them as high risk because of their past practices.
Specifically, there were cases of self-employed who reported both to the Income Tax Department and to Social Insurance an annual income of €15,000 even though, in reality, it was much higher.
This is the first time such a thorough examination takes place because the procedure has changed following complaints submitted by self-employed over the high contributions they are required to pay.
A self-employed person who submits an objection to the competent authority will have to prove in a documented way that his/her income is lower and, thus, justify a lower contribution to the Social Insurance Fund.
Self-employed persons themselves have the responsibility to back up complaints and provide relevant documents and data to the Ministry. However, the new procedure applied is certainly related to the island’s fledgling National Health Scheme since contributions to it are on the basis of the income of those insured.
Phileleftheros has received complaints from citizens over delays by the Ministry regarding the examination of submitted objections to calls for payment of higher contributions to the Social Insurance Fund.
But a ministry spokesman rejected the allegations, saying that the amount of contributions corresponds to declared income. And that efforts are made to speed up the complaints procedure.