Prop­erty tax for school VAT

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

The rev­enues seen com­ing from tax­ing over­seas Greek-owned real es­tate may be used by the gov­ern­ment to re­solve the prob­lem it cre­ated by agree­ing to place a val­ueadded tax on pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion.

Al­ter­nate Fi­nance Min­is­ter Try­fon Alex­i­adis told Mega TV yesterday that one of the mea­sures that could re­place the 23 per­cent VAT on tu­ition fees would be a tax on prop­er­ties abroad. How­ever, even if that tax is im­posed it will take some time be­fore it is im­ple­mented, as no prepa­ra­tions have been made for this am­bi­tious mea­sure. There­fore, one can­not ex­pect it to bring in any rev­enues be­fore 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to what Alex­i­adis has re­cently been say­ing, the gov­ern­ment plans to in­tro­duce a tax sim­i­lar to one in­tro­duced in Italy by for­mer prime min­is­ter Mario Monti in 2012, from which prop­er­ties on which the own­ers had al­ready paid a prop­erty tax to author­i­ties in the coun­try where it was lo­cated were ex­empt. How­ever, that plan was amended sev­eral times to avoid a clash with the pro­vi­sions of dou­ble tax­a­tion avoid­ance agree­ments be­tween states.

That law also ex­empted a va­ri­ety of prop­er­ties, such as those owned by com­pa­nies, foun­da­tions and so­cial se­cu­rity funds, among oth­ers, thereby con­sid­er­ably re­duc­ing the scope of the tax.

Mar­ket pro­fes­sion­als es­ti­mate that the mea­sure will not fetch any sig­nif­i­cant rev­enues into state cof­fers, es­pe­cially if those with over­seas prop­er­ties de­cide to pass them over to a com­pany and thus ex­empt from the tax.

Three in ev­ery 10 home­own­ers say they will be un­able to pay their prop­erty taxes this year. At the same time, 40.5 per­cent of ten­ants say they are be­hind on their rent.

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