Tax measures to smooth out the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak

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Maria Zoupa

Maria Zoupa

Partner

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Georgia Voutsa

Georgia Voutsa

Senior associate

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The Greek Government has introduced a set of measures applicable during the COVID-19 outbreak period, to financially support enterprises whose business is being disrupted (the “affected enterprises”). Greek enterprises qualify as “affected” to the extent that their active primary Business Activity Codes (KAD) are included in the list published by the Ministry of Finance on 20 March 2020. The currently applicable list, which may be subject to further revisions, is presented below as Appendix 1. Measures in question concern a number of financial liabilities of affected enterprises (e.g. liabilities deriving from lease contracts, loans) and are generally subject to the condition that the benefiting enterprises retain their employees.

As regards tax & social security liabilities, the following shall apply during the outbreak period:

Extension of VAT payment

  • Payment of VAT amounts is extended for the affected enterprises until 31 August 2020. This concerns amounts payable during the period from 11 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. To date, no extension to the submission deadlines of periodical VAT, VIES and Intrastat returns due within or by the end of March 2020 has been provided.
  • During the suspension period, no interest and surcharges shall be imposed on the amounts of taxes due.
  • The extension applies under the condition that the existing number of employees is retained by the affected enterprise; otherwise interest and surcharges shall be imposed as of the date of their assessment.

Extension of payment of assessed tax debts and instalments of arrangements/ settlement schemes

  • Payment of assessed tax debts and instalments based on arrangements/settlement schemes is extended for the affected enterprises until 31 August 2020. This concerns amounts due in the period from 11 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. To date, no extension to the submission deadlines of periodical tax returns due by the end of March 2020 has been provided (e.g. business activity income or payroll withholding tax returns).
  • During the suspension period, no interest and surcharges shall be imposed on the amounts of taxes due.
  • The extension applies under the condition that the existing number of employees is retained by the affected enterprise; otherwise, interest and surcharges shall be imposed as of the date of their assessment.

Payment of social security contributions and instalments of arrangements/ settlement schemes

  • Payment of social security contributions and instalments of relevant arrangements is suspended for affected enterprises.
  • During the suspension period, no interest and surcharges shall be imposed on the amounts of social security contributions due.
  • Details of such measures and necessary implementation guidelines will be determined through the issuance of relevant Ministerial Decisions.
  • According to the announcement of the Ministry of Labour, payment of February social security contributions will be suspended for 3 months, provided that the existing number of employees is retained.

Acceleration of tax refunds of amounts not exceeding Euro 30,000 by the tax authorities

  • Immediate refund of amounts not exceeding Euro 30,000 pertaining to pending income tax audit cases for legal persons and legal entities or pending VAT audit cases for natural or legal persons and legal entities, subject to limitation period framework.
  • Pending cases are considered those for which no temporary tax assessment act has been issued as of the publication date of the Legislative Act (20 March 2020).
  • For the purposes of such refunds, sample audits may be performed as per the Code of Fiscal Procedures provisions.

Submission of tax returns [applicable to all Greek taxpayers]

  • The deadline for filing of the annual list of customers-suppliers for 2019 has been extended until 30 June 2020, while amendments of respective suppliers’ deviations may take place until 31 July 2020.
  • The deadline for filing lease contracts’ notifications through Taxisnet for contracts or amendments executed from 01 February 2020 until 30 April 2020 is extended until 30 June 2020. The same extension applies for declarations of short-term accommodation for the period between 01 February 2020 and 31 May 2020.