Regulatory round-up: Greece

Let’s take a look at regulatory changes that have been announced or taken effect in Greece over the past month.

Capital controls

Further relaxing the firm restrictions placed on Greece earlier this year, foreign transactions (for business activities) are now permitted for legal entities and traders, as long as they do not exceed the amount of €5,000 per day, per client.

VAT rates on hotel services from 1 October 2015

The following applies for the whole Greek territory including the islands of Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Skiathos.

VAT rate  Food and beverages 23%  Accomodation 13% 
 Package including accom and b'fast (for packages where the value cannot be separated  5%  95%
 Package including accom, b'fast and lunch  15%  85%
 Full board package  25%  75%
 All-inclusive package  30%  75%

For islands with a reduced 30% VAT rate, the following applies:

  • food and beverages 16%
  • accommodation 9%

Where transactions are made before 1 October 2015 but invoices are issued after 1 October 2015, the new VAT rates apply. 

The new VAT rates apply to credit invoices issued after 1 October 2015 related to transactions made before 1 October 2015. Where an invoice is cancelled, the rate of the initial transaction will apply.

Tax year definition and duration

A legal entity based in Greece with at least 50% of its shares held by a foreign entity can use as Tax Year the foreign entity’s Tax Year, with the 12 month limitation.

Income acquisition time

In accordance with the Greek GAAP, income is considered to be obtained at the time the obligation for the issuance of the relevant invoice is born.  
The Department of Financial Crime Prosecution has advised that it is checking 38,000 cases related to 1,300,000 VAT/TAX Numbers.

Changes in Tax Crime Sheet (Law 4337/2015)

As per the National Gazette, tax evasion crimes are considered the following:

  • Avoidance of payment of income tax, property tax, special tax on real estate and tax on shipping, which exceeds the amount of €100,000 per year and per tax type. Imprisonment is set for at least two years.
  • The non or inaccurate reimbursement and the illegal refund of VAT, for an amount over €50,000/year envisions a prison sentence of at least two years. Also, the nonpayment or inaccurate payment of the rest withholding or imposed taxes, fees and contributions that overcomes the amount of €100,000 per year and per tax, envisions a prison sentence of at least two years.
  • The publication or the acceptance of false or plasmatic tax information results in a prison sentence of at least three months, unless the false or plasmatic information has been used for committing one of the previous tax evasions, in which the person is punished only as perpetrator or participator.
  • As direct accomplice punished: the one that knowingly signs an inaccurate tax return as representative, or any other person in any way, knowingly collaborates or offers direct assistance to conducting tax crimes, is considered as a collaborator in tax evasion crimes.

The separate fine of €250 or €500 for non-issuing a receipt or any other tax information is repealed, with a maximum of €30,000. The non-issuing of receipt or other tax information is considered non-cooperationin tax audit.

Regardless of the number of unissued receipts, the fine is €2,500. In a first relapse (within five years) the fine is doubled. In a second relapse and subsequent, the fine is quadrupled and may reach the amount of € 10,000.

Intercompany transactions

  • For late submission (more than four months), or for inaccurate submission of a Consolidated List, a penalty of 1/1000 on the amount of trade documentation is imposed, with a minimum amount of €500 and maximum €2,000.
  • For late submission of amended Consolidated List, the same penalty is imposed, only if the transaction  amount after the amendment is greater than €200,000 and above.
  • For non-submission of a Consolidated List, a penalty of 1/1000 on the amount of trade documentation is imposed, with a minimum amount of €2,000 and maximum €10,000.
  • For a delayed delivery of a Documentation Folder:
   Penalty
If given to the Tax Authority beyond the 31st day   €5,000
If given to the Tax Authority beyond the 61st day  €10,000
If given to the Tax Authority beyond the 90th day, or not given at all  €20,000

Need more information? Get in touch with Yannis and his expert team in Greece.

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