Greece

Basic taxes (briefly)

Personal tax 9-44%
Corporate tax (in detail) The rate of corporate income tax is 24%
Capital gains tax. Details Capital gains are generally included in the general tax base.
VAT. Details The standard VAT rate is 24%. The 13% rate applies to certain types of goods and services.
Other taxes State real estate tax, Real estate transfer tax, Inheritance, gift and parental gift tax
Government fee
Stamp duty 2.4%-3.6%

International tax agreement

   


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TAXES

Personal tax

Resident individuals are subject to national income tax on their worldwide income. An individual is resident in Greece if his stay in Greece exceeds 183 days in a calendar year. Personal tax is levied at progressive rate depending on the amount of income:
Income, EUR Rate
up to 25,000 22%
next 17,000 32%
over 42,000 42%

The taxable period is the tax year. For individuals this corresponds to the calendar year.

Corporate Taxation

The rate of corporate income tax is 28%. All legal entities are subject to income tax at:
  • 28% on the first EUR 50,000 and 33% on the excess (if they maintain single entry accounting books); or
  • 28% on their total income (if they maintain double entry accounting books).

Capital gains tax

Capital gains (or losses) are generally regarded as ordinary business income (or losses) and are treated accordingly for tax purposes. However, a 20% capital gains tax rate applies to gains from:
  • the sale of a business, branch, participation in a partnership, EPE, joint venture;
  • the sale of other business rights, such as patents and industrial property; and
  • the assignment of leasing rights, i.e. the right to lease or sublease an asset.

Gains from the sale of shares listed on the Athens Exchange or on a foreign stock exchange are exempt, provided the shares have been purchased by 30 June 2013. In respect of shares in AEs not listed on stock exchange a 5% tax is levied. Capital gains from both listed and non-listed shares acquired on or after 1 July 2013 are subject to a (non-final) withholding tax at the rate of 20%.

VAT

VAT is designed to be borne by the ultimate consumer of goods and services. Taxable persons for the purposes of VAT are:
  • every individual or legal entity or enterprise, either Greek or foreign, engaged in an independent economic activity in Greece;
  • the state, or state or municipal authorities, with respect to transactions which can also be performed in the private sector;
  • with respect to the importation of goods (from a non-EU country), the owner of the imported goods under customs legislation; and
  • every person that occasionally supplies buildings.

In general, all businesses must register for VAT before they start operations. No registration threshold exists.
VAT is levied on the supply of goods and services by entrepreneurs in Greece; the importation of goods into Greece; and the intra-Community acquisition of goods.
The standard VAT rate is 23% from 1 July 2010. A reduced rate of 13% applies to goods deemed to be necessities, such as fresh food products, transportation, electricity, mineral water, as well as to certain professional services, coffee shops, writers, composers, artists, and (non-exempt) services of doctors and dentists. A reduced rate of 6.5% applies to newspapers, periodicals, books, theatre tickets, pharmaceuticals and hotel accommodations. For the region of the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and Eastern Aegean islands, the above rates are reduced to 16%, 9% and 5%, respectively.

Withholding tax

Resident companies and non-resident companies having a permanent establishment in Greece are subject to withholding tax at the following rates depending on type of income:
Type of Income Rate
Dividends 10%
Interest 15%
Fees paid to agents for supplies of materials 15%
Construction contractors’ fees 3%
Service fees 8%
Consideration for the sale of goods if paid by the state 4%

Domestic royalties are not subject to withholding tax.
Non-resident companies without permanent establishment in Greece are subject to withholding tax at different rates:
Type of Income Rate
Branch profits 10%
Dividends 10%
Interest on government bonds, bonds issued by resident companies and bank deposits in foreign currency 0%
Bank deposits in euro denominated accounts and on income from repo transactions 15%
Other interest 33%
Royalties 25%
Fees (technical) 25%
Fees (management) 25%

Stamp Duty

Stamp duties are imposed at varying rates on certain transactions which are exempt from VAT, such as:
Type of transactions Rate
rents of properties used for business purposes 3.6%
various insurance transactions 2.4%
issuance of loans and payment of interest on such loans 2.4%

Other taxes

Capital duty levied on any kind of contribution to the share capital on the formation of a company at rate of 1%.The increase in a company’s capital is subject to the same capital duty.
State real estate tax imposed annually on the value of immovable property, including land and buildings at the rate of 0.6% (0.3% for non-profit organizations) or 0.1% for buildings used for production or carrying out business activities.
Real estate transfer tax imposed on the sale of land and buildings at rate 8% of the objective or market value.
Inheritance, gift and parental gift tax imposed by the state on property acquired by inheritance or gift. The rates are determined on the basis of the proximity of relationship and the value of property received, and varies from 0 to 40%.
Social Security Contributions payable by both employers (28.56%) and employees (16.5% for office employees, and 19.95% for industrial workers) with the Social Insurance Institution (IKA).

Anti-avoidance rules

  • Transfer pricing
  • With effect from 1 January 2013, the arm’s length rule applies to all transactions between associated enterprises. This principle also applies to a non-resident enterprise and its permanent establishment in Greece, with regard to transactions between them, as well as between a resident enterprise and its permanent establishment abroad.
  • The transfer pricing documentation file must generally be submitted within 50 days of the end of the enterprise’s financial year. Fines may be imposed for failure to submit the documentation (on time).
  • Thin capitalization
  • According to the thin capitalization rules, which are now incorporated into the transfer pricing provisions, any accrued interest on loans or credits which is paid or credited to associated enterprises, as defined for transfer pricing purposes is deductible on the condition that the proportion of these loans or credits to the net assets of the enterprise does not exceed the ratio of 3:1 on average per fiscal year. Accrued interest on loans and credits exceeding this ratio is not deductible.
  • Controlled foreign company
  • There is no CFC legislation in Greece.

Foreign exchange control

There are no foreign exchange control restrictions in Greece. However, all monetary transfers to foreign countries must be made through commercial banks in Greece, which are obliged to ensure that the transfer has been subject to, or is exempt from, withholding tax.

Government fee

The annual fee for an A.E. at the Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) amounts 420 Euro.

ACCOUNTS

Accounting records

The accounting year must end on 30 June or 31 December.
Companies are required by the Books and Records Code to keep double entry books of account and the accounts and account structure to be used must be the same as that prescribed in the Greek General Chart of Accounts. Use of these Charts of Accounts is mandatory.
The annual financial statements of an AE must be audited by two auditors or a firm of certified auditors appointed by the General Meeting of Shareholders. The auditors must be independent of management. Entities which satisfy two of the following three criteria in two previous consecutive accounting years must appoint a recognized auditing firm of certified auditors (a member of the Institute of Certified Auditors and Accountants “SOEL”):

Total assets exceeding EUR 2.5 million.
Net turnover exceeding EUR 5 million.
Average number of employees exceeding 50.

Copies of the financial statements, Director’s Report, and the Auditors Report must also be filed with the Prefecture. The balance sheet and the profit and loss account together with the auditors’ report (required only when the audited company is obligatorily audited by a certified auditor), must be published in the Government Gazette, in one daily financial newspaper and one daily political newspaper, at least 20 days prior to the day on which the general meeting of the shareholders is to be held.

Annual Return

Generally speaking, Annual Return is a short review on the current state of the company, which is prepared by the company secretary annually. As a rule it includes the following information:
  • Incorporation information (registration date, registered address);
  • Information about directors and their resignation;
  • Information about secretaries and their resignation;
  • Information about registered capital, nominal value of shares and amount of issued shares;
  • Information about shareholders and share transfer.

In Greece companies are obliged to prepare or file Annual Return. Annual return is publicly accessible.

Tax Returns and Assessment

The fiscal year starts on 1 January and ends on 31 December of the calendar year and refers to the financial (accounting) year ended on a date between 1 August of the previous calendar year and 31 July of the current calendar year. For example, fiscal year 2013, which covers the calendar year 2013, refers to the income of the financial (accounting) year that ended between 1 August 2012 and 31 July 2013.
The annual corporate income tax return must be filed by the tenth day of the fifth month following the end of the financial year. Companies that are subject to a mandatory audit by certified auditors must receive a tax certificate from their auditors.

    Taxes of Greece

    Min. rate for corporate tax 24%
    Capital gains tax Regular rate
    VAT 24%
    Withholding tax 5%/15%/20%
    Exchange control No
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