Debts of 35-40 billion euros to banks, the tax authorities and the social security funds that were frozen during the lockdowns will gradually come due for payment next year; that will be one of the biggest challenges of the post-pandemic period – i.e. the payment of those huge arrears alongside the new obligations set to arise from income tax, the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) etc.
The degree of pressure will rise and is likely to peak early next year. As of January 1 there will be practically no debts on ice or grace periods. The subsidies through the two “Gefyra” programs will have been paid out, the period of zero payments toward previous tax and social security debts will have ended, and the dues from the cheap state loans will start coming due, and there will be no more suspended loan obligations.
Furthermore, thousands of recourses to the so-called Katseli law for the protection of debtors will have been processed by courts and verdicts will start being implemented, while the first few thousands of agreements in the context of the out-of-court settlement of debts will have been reached, meaning that the start of payments of dues in up to 240 tranches will have also begun.
The number of citizens who have run up fresh debts during the pandemic is likely to exceed 1 million. Some 400,000 have had their loan tranches frozen and will be asked to pay a higher monthly installment.
Debts to the taxman and the pension funds have been suspended for over 750,000 individuals and corporations, while a similar figure of professionals have created debts for themselves by obtaining one or more cheap state loans through the “Deposit To Be Returned” packages.
Of course these sums often overlap, as there are many people who have borrowed from banks and also have arrears to the state and the pension funds.
All those payments are set to coincide with the current dues (such as income tax, ENFIA etc) that as of 2022 will spread across the entire year. Therefore there will be months in 2022 when some people will have to make four or even five payments.
While up to February 2022 taxpayers will be still paying their income tax and ENFIA dues for 2021, as of March 2022 the ENFIA payments for next year will begin, and income tax tranches will follow suit.