Greece tax guide for businesses

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Compliance And Rates

VAT Number Format In Greece

All EU member states have a fixed format for their VAT numbers. In Greece, it includes 9 digits and the prefix EL (e.g., EL123456789).

VAT Rates In Greece

The standard VAT rate in Greece is 24%, with reduced rates of 13% and 6% on certain goods and services. Some goods and services are exempt from Greek VAT, such as medical, educational, insurance services, exports, and international transport.

  • 24% (Standard) – Applies to all taxable supplies, with certain exceptions
  • 13% (Reduced) – Some foodstuffs, medicine and pharmaceutical products, some agricultural supplies, food in restaurants and catering, etc.
  • 6% (Reduced) – Some foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products, hotel accommodation, books (excluding e-books), newspapers and periodicals
  • 0% (Zero) – medical, educational, insurance services, exports, and international transport.

Special (reduced by 30%) standard VAT rates, namely 17%, 9%, and 4%, apply to certain Greek islands (i.e., Lesvos, Leros, Kos, Chios, Samos).

VAT Payments And Returns In Greece

All businesses with a Greek VAT number must submit periodic VAT reports and payments.

VAT Returns Frequency In Greece

For all companies that operate in Greece, VAT returns must be submitted monthly or quarterly, depending on the annual revenue of the business entity.

  • Monthly – last day of the following month if the annual revenue is higher than EUR 1,5m
  • Quarterly – last day of the following month if the annual revenue is less than EUR 1,5m

Penalties in case of late filings or misdeclarations

In the case of the late filing of VAT returns and payments, the Greek government prescribed the penalties as follows:

  1. Non-registration will trigger a penalty at the rate of 3.5% of the VAT owed per month of delayed capped at 200% of the total tax owed. On the other hand, late registration will trigger a penalty between EUR 100 and EUR 2500.
  2. Failure to submit a VAT return will cause a fine equal to the VAT due in that tax return.
  3. Late payment of the VAT may lead to the following penalties:
  • 10% of the VAT due if the VAT amount is paid under 1 year from the deadline.
  • 20% of the VAT due if the VAT amount is paid between 1 and 2 years from the deadline.
  • 30% of the VAT due if the VAT amount is paid after 2 years from the deadline.

Invoice Requirements in Greece

According to Art. 09 of the Greek VAT Act, invoices must contain at least the following information:

  • date of issuance
  • a unique, sequential number of the invoice
  • supplier data (company name, address, tax number)
  • customer data (address and other data if available, tax number)
  • date of transaction (if different from invoice date)
  • full description of goods and services provided (quantity and details)
  • net price per unit
  • the net, the taxable value of the invoice
  • rate and amount of VAT applicable for the category of goods and services provided
  • the invoice total, the gross amount
  • statement message in case of special supplying or tax regimes (self-billing, margin scheme, etc.)

Penalties for non-compliance with invoicing obligations

In case of violations related to the non-issuance or inaccurate issuance of tax records (invoice or retail receipt), a procedural penalty of EUR 250 or EUR 500 depending on the books kept by the entity applies per violation. In cases of repeated violations (i.e., traced in two or more tax audits), additional penalties may be imposed.

E-Invoicing in Greece

Electronic invoicing in Greece is permitted but still not mandatory at this moment.

The Greek authorities announced their intention to introduce mandatory e-invoicing and e-bookkeeping rules for all B2B transactions.

Electronic invoices and electronic books will be transmitted to the AADE (Greek Independent Authority for Public Revenue) via myDATA portal monthly or quarterly, depending on the filling frequency of the taxpayer. Submitting the data needs to be done before the 20th day after the end of the month in which the relevant invoices were issued.

Live transmission of data will allow AADE to detect possible errors, frauds, and VAT discrepancies on issued invoices. According to some rumors from the financial and tax industries, new e-invoicing and e-bookkeeping rules could be adopted in 2021.

Date updated [May 12, 2021]

Greece tax guide for businesses

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