Taxes and Accounting in Greece

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The tax year begins on 1 January and finishes on 31 December of the same year.
Accounting Standards
Community accounting legislation is mainly based on two Directives « Company Law »: the fourth directive (78/660/CEE) which obliges all limited liability companies to draw up annual accounts; its aim is not to achieve complete harmonization of accounting rules but rather to ensure better comparison of financial information; the seventh directive (83/149/CEE) which obliges parent companies to prepare consolidated accounts and a consolidated annual report which detail the financial situation of the group.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
International accounting standards
Accounting Reports
Rules for evaluating the accounts which appear in the annual accounts are founded on principles such as the principle of caution, the principle of the invariability of methods of evaluation, etc.

The annual report must contain a faithful presentation of the evolution of business and the situation of the company. In addition, it must contain information about the important events which have occurred since the closing of the financial year, the foreseeable evolution of the company and the company’s research and development activities.
Publication Requirements
Every year companies are bound to publish a financial statement including a balance sheet, an annual report, a table of profit distribution and notes. It must be audited, sent to the register of public limited companies and published in the official government journal.

In addition, the European Directive of 19 July 2002 obliges all European companies listed on the Stock Exchange to draw up, starting with the 2005 financial year, their consolidated annual accounts on the basis of IAS standards. Concretely, the company councils of Greek listed firms and consolidated Greek subsidiaries of listed Greek firms or listed firms under the jurisdiction of the law of another member State have been confronted systematically, since 2006, with consolidated accounts drawn up in compliance with IAS/IFRS standards and which are therefore different in their form and content from those which had been sent to them up to now.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Soma Orkoton Elekton , Association of Accountants (in greek only).
Certification and Auditing
The external control of accounts must be given to a body of experts (auditors) chosen by the company. Access the Association of Certified Accountants and Auditors of Greece (SELE)
Accounting News
EIN Central Europe Accounting news

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
A value-added tax (VAT) applies in Greece.
Tax Rate
23%
Reduced Tax Rate
13% and 6.5%. The reduced rate of 13% indicatively applies to food products, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and ancillary goods, transportation of persons, etc. The low rate of 6.5% applies to books and printed material as well as entries to theatres etc.
Other Consumption Taxes
Real Estate transfer Tax, Real Estate Tax, Inheritance and gift tax.
 
Find Tax Professionals in Greece on GlobalTrade.net.
 

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
23%
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Greek corporations are subject to income tax on their worldwide annual income. Foreign entities are taxable in Greece only on their Greek-source income. In addition, where such entities maintain a “permanent establishment” in Greece, they are taxed on income attributed there too. Generally, corporations’ gross income is reduced by their allowable expenses for the purpose of arriving at their net income. The tax rate applies on corporations’ net income.
Capital Gains Taxation
A capital gain in Greece is added to regular income and is taxable at the same rate as regular income for a company: 23%
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
There is no exhaustive listing of deductible business expenses in Greek tax law. In principle, all business expenses are deductible to the extent they fulfill the criteria set by the law.
For more information consult Deloitte Tax Guide.
Other Corporate Taxes
Capital gains Taxation, Real Estate Transfer Tax, Real Estate transfert Duty, etc.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax Progressive rate from 0% to 40%
For the first EUR 12,000 0%
From EUR 12,001 to EUR 30,000 25%
from EUR 30,001 to EUR 75,000 35%
Over EUR 75,001 40%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
- 20% of the rent paid annually by the taxpayer in respect of his principal residence, up to 1100 EUR,
- 20% of the expense incurred for private lessons delivered to the taxpayer and/or his/her spouse and/or their children either at home or in private institutions, including foreign language courses up to 1100 EUR,
- 20% of the interest paid on mortgage-loans or loans guaranteed by means of a mortgage pre-note entered into by the taxpayer for the purpose of purchasing his/her first-ever private residence not exceeding 120 square meters,
- 20% of the total annual amount of medical and hospitalization expenses incurred by the taxpayer for the purpose of his/her own or his/her dependants’ treatment; the overall amount to be allowed cannot, however, exceed 6000 EUR.

For additional information, you can consult the PKF Tax Guide.

 

Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Individuals not resident in Greece are taxed only on their income derived from a source therein.Foreign tax residents who generate income in Greece are taxed on the basis of the abovementioned progressive tax scale; however, they receive no relief in the first bracket of income, which is taxed at 5%.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of the double taxation treaty sugned by Greece
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 10, Interest: 25%, Royalties: 20%

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
MNEC
Other Domestic Resources
national tax department
Information on the national tax system

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Find more on GlobalTrade.net about Taxes and Accounting in Greece.
 

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
The Hellenic Industrial Property Organisation (OBI).
Regional Organizations
For the protection of patents: the European patent office.
To control trademarks, designs and models: the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
Patent Law : Law No 1733/1987 as amended by Article 18 of Law No 1739/1987, Law No 1883/1990 ratifying  the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
20 years
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Strasbourg agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
Trademark
 
Law on Trademarks, No 2239/94,
Presidential Decree No 353/1998, supplementing Law on Trademarks No2239/94Ministerial Decision No. K4-307/2001, implementing  regulations of the Madrid Protocol as ratified by Law No 2783/200.
20/25 years Trademark law treaty
Nice agreement
Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement
Design
 
Law No.1733/1987
Presidential Decree No.259/1997,regulations on the ratification of the Hague Agreement under 1960 Act
5 years renewable  
Copyright
 
Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights No 2121/ 1993 as amended by  Article 8 of Law No 2557/1997 for harmonization with the Council Directive 93/83  
70 years after the death of the author Berne convention
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
 

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The Greek Constitution divides state authority into the three functions of executive, legislative, and judicial (Art. 26). It grants the Judiciary independence from the other functions and the power to control and even annul acts of the public administration and to examine the constitutionality of acts of Parliament and refuse to apply statutes if they are found to be unconstitutional. The Constitution also grants to all citizens the right to seek judicial protection whenever their rights are infringed (Art. 20).
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Yes. But corruption continues to be a problem. Greece was ranked 56 out of 180 countries surveyed in Transparency International's 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index.
The Language of Justice
Greek.
Recourse to an Interpreter
Possible
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The Greek legal system is a member of the family of European laws and is especially influenced by German and French law. For the most part, Greek law is codified and, unlike Anglo-American common law, only enacted laws either in the form of codes or other statutes are the sources of law in addition to custom and international law (Civil Code, Art. 1).
Checking National Laws Online
Ministry of Justice
 
Find Legal Experts in Greece on GlobalTrade.net.
 

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Standards

National Standards Organizations
ELOT
Integration in the International Standards Network
Greece is a member of ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
Classification of Standards
CE is the European certification mark. It is compulsory for a country to be able to sell on the market.
Online Consultation of Standards
Visit ELOT website.
Certification Organizations
ELOT

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Business Practices

General Information
Worldwide-tax
Kwintessential
E-diplomat
Opening Hours and Days
Banks are open Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 2.30 pm and on Friday from 8 am to 2 pm. Public administrations are open from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 1 pm.

Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. Supermarkets open from 8 am to 8 pm in the week, and from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturday.

 

Public Holidays

New Year's Day 1 january
Epiphany 6 january
Orthodox Shrove Monday March
Independence Day 25 march
Orthodox Good Friday April
Orthodox Easter Monday April
Labour Day 1 may
Orthodox Whit Monday June
Assumption 15 aug
Ochi Day 28 oct
Christmas Day 25 dec
Boxing Day 26 dec
 
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Christmas holidays 2/3 days for Christmas
Summer holidays 2/3 weeks in August
Easter holydays 2/3 days for Easter
 

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