Greece is a member state of the European Union and is situated in southern Europe near the Mediterranean, Ionian and Aegean Seas. The country has developed tourism, shipping and agriculture. The tax system and financial and tax reporting requirements are constantly being improved.
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As a member of the European Union (EU), Greece complies with the accounting, audit and financial reporting requirements set out in EU decrees and directives incorporated into national laws and decrees.
Financial statements preparation requirements are set out in Law 4308/2014, which was issued for transposition of Directive 2013/34/EU.
An annual return must contain reliable representation of evolution of the business and financial position of the company. Financial statements must include a balance sheet, annual return, profit and loss statement and notes to accounts.
Financial statements must be audited if compulsory audit criteria are exceeded and must be sent to the registry of public limited companies and published in an official government magazine.
The following types of legal entities must file financial statements:
All accounting records shall be kept for five years after the end of the reporting period.
Copies of financial statements, directors’ report and auditors’ report shall be filed with the local chamber of commerce and industry. A balance sheet and profit and loss statement along with an auditors’ report must be published in the Government Gazette, one daily financial newspaper and one daily political newspaper at least 20 days before the general meeting of shareholders.
A reporting year consists of 12 months and ends on 31 December or 30 June. Subsidiaries of foreign groups can use other dates of the end of the year.
Applying IFRS is compulsory for corporations whose shares or securities are listed on an exchange and for corporations that for accounting purposes are united with a company that uses IFRS if that company represents at least 5% of the consolidated turnover, consolidated assets or consolidated results (having considered minority rights). IFRS are not compulsory for other corporations or limited liability companies.
Small and medium-sized companies are allowed to use full IFRS adopted in the EU, provided that they have accounts certified by an independent certified auditor. All other small and medium-sized companies must use Greek accounting standards (Greek GAAP).
Preparation of financial statements and a corporate tax return must be completed within six months after the end of the period.
In the case of late filing or failure to file returns, the following fines are imposed:
Law 4336/2016 sets compulsory audit requirements. According to the law, all public companies and all companies that meet two of the following criteria in two straight years must be audited:
Greek tax legislation now requires all limited liability corporations and Greek branches of foreign banks to be tax audited by a certified Greek auditor. If a certificate of annual tax audit is issued without any reservations, the company’s tax matters are considered final, and tax authorities normally do not conduct their own inspection, except for when the taxpayer is chosen for a selective inspection.
Small and medium-sized groups are exempt from the obligation to prepare consolidated financial statements, except for when some enterprises of the group are public companies.
A parent enterprise is exempt from the obligation to make consolidated financial statements if the parent enterprise is also a subsidiary of another enterprise that is subject to legislation of a member state of the European Union.
Small groups are groups that consist of a parent enterprise and subsidiaries that are subject to consolidation and that on a consolidated basis on the reporting date of the parent enterprise do not exceed at least two of the following three criteria:
Medium-sized groups are groups, exclusive of small groups, that consist of a parent company and subsidiaries that are subject to consolidation and that on a consolidated basis on the reporting date of the parent company do not exceed at least two of the following three criteria:
Large groups must prepare consolidated financial statements.
Large groups are groups that consist of a parent company and subsidiaries that are subject to consolidation and that on a consolidated basis on the reporting date of the parent company exceed at least two of the following three criteria:
In accordance with European directives, all companies listed on a stock exchange must make their consolidated annual returns based on the international financial reporting standards.
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