E-spend­ing dis­count de­tails out

Euro­pean Union cit­i­zens who pay in­come tax in Greece will be ex­empt from the card pay­ment obli­ga­tion

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The Fi­nance Min­istry has fi­nally is­sued a list de­tail­ing the types of elec­tronic spend­ing – credit and debit cards, e-bank­ing and money for­ward­ing – that will count to­ward the in­come tax dis­count granted to most tax­pay­ers as of this year. Just a hand­ful of ex­penses are ex­cluded, mean­ing that the thresh­old will be at­tain­able for most, while non-Greek EU cit­i­zens are ex­empt from the mea­sure even if they sub­mit an in­come tax dec­la­ra­tion in Greece.

Ac­cord­ing to the de­ci­sion, signed by Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ka­te­rina Pa­panat­siou and pub­lished yes­ter­day, it is only elec­tronic pay­ments of mort­gage loans, rent, taxes of all forms, real es­tate ac­qui­si­tions and ve­hi­cle pur­chases that are ex­empt from the sum re­quired to be met by each salary worker, pen­sioner and farmer ev­ery year in or­der to es­tab­lish the right to a tax dis­count of be­tween 1,900 and 2,100 eu­ros (de­pend­ing on fam­ily sta­tus).

This means it should be quite easy for tax­pay­ers to spend the nec­es­sary amount in elec­tronic trans­ac­tions (be­tween 10 and 20 per­cent of in­come, de­pend­ing on the to­tal) to qual­ify for the dis­count and avoid a penalty (amount­ing to 22 per­cent of the amount by which they failed to make the thresh­old). Ev­ery­day ex- pen­di­ture such as gro­cery shop­ping, util­ity bills, phone bills, spend­ing on ed­u­ca­tion, fuel costs (in­clud­ing heat­ing oil), to­bacco, al­co­hol, food and drink, ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion etc will all count.

Cru­cially, the mea­sure ex­empts those aged 70 and over, those with a dis­abil­ity rate of 80 per­cent or more, and non-Greeks who are cit­i­zens of Euro­pean Union or Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area coun­tries who pay in­come tax in Greece. 1.0661 They will still have to col­lect pa­per re­ceipts to se­cure a tax dis­count.

The min­is­te­rial de­ci­sion also stresses that health­care ex­pen­di­ture will not go to­ward the es­pend­ing dis­count, as it is de­ducted from tax­able in­come sep­a­rately. That tax re­duc­tion amounts to 10 per­cent of the sum spent on doc­tors and hos­pi­tals – in Greece and abroad – pro­vided that this ex­ceeds 5 per­cent of each tax­payer’s tax­able in­come.

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