Min­istry lines up new taxes for prop­erty own­ers, bond­hold­ers

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

Changes to the ENFIA prop­erty tax and levies on se­cu­ri­ties and over­seas prop­er­ties are be­ing dis­cussed by the gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic team to in­crease public rev­enue in 2016.

Among sev­eral new mea­sures, the Min­istry of Fi­nance is con­sid­er­ing re­duc­ing the ENFIA tax in 2016 for own­ers with lower prop­erty val­ues and mak­ing up the short­fall in the gov­ern­ment’s 3.3-bil­lion-euro tar­get through new tax mea­sures.

Taxpayers in Greece with prop­erty abroad will from 2016 be called to pay prop­erty tax to the Greek state. Those who al­ready pay such tax in the coun­try where the prop­erty is lo­cated will be ex­empt as long as they sub­mit the rel­e­vant doc­u­ments to the Greek tax author­i­ties on an an­nual ba­sis.

Also in the works are plans from 2016 to make hold­ers of for­eign bonds – e.g. Ger­man or Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment bonds – pay a flat tax to the Greek author­i­ties. A se­nior Fi­nance Min­istry of­fi­cial ex­plained that “it is not pos­si­ble that some­one who buys a 200,000-euro prop­erty pays tax on it and some­one who in­vested in, for ex­am­ple, Ger­man gov­ern­ment bonds pays no tax at all to the Greek gov­ern­ment.”

The new plans are set to be dis­cussed be­tween Greece and its lenders im­me­di­ately af­ter the up­com­ing snap elec­tions in or­der to amend the rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tions of the draft law in time for Oc­to­ber.

Start­ing from the end of Oc­to­ber, the ENFIA prop­erty tax will be paid in five in­stall­ments, with the last payable in late Fe­bru­ary 2016.

The 20 per­cent dis­count for empty prop­er­ties and those not con­nected to the elec­tric­ity grid will re­main.

The ex­emp­tion for prop­er­ties be­long­ing to the Greek Na­tional Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion (GNTO) will be abol­ished, gen­er­at­ing an ad­di­tional 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

In Novem­ber, a com­mit­tee will be set up to ad­just the ob­jec­tive val­ues of prop­er­ties. The team will be com­posed of lawyers, no­taries, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and tax in­spec­tors who will be in­vited by the end of the year to set the new ob­jec­tive val­ues. The aim is for the prop­erty tax rate to move in line with ob­jec­tive prop­erty val­ues. An­nual ad­just­ments to the tax rate will be made as nec­es­sary.

As of next year, Greeks will likely not just be taxed on the prop­erty they own within Greece but also on in­vest­ments they have out­side of the coun­try if the gov­ern­ment sees though a plan in the works.

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