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Tax pains 2013

28 May 2013 / 17:05:56  GRReporter
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If you have to declare income in Greece this year, you will need a lot of patience. From this year onwards, all tax returns will be submitted only online, but this will not facilitate the process. To the contrary, you will not get away with waiting in queues at the tax office or with the bureaucratic madness, which we are familiar with at present. The only way to deal with another administrative obstacle is to find information and a lot of patience.

GRReporter has contacted tax specialist Antonis Mouzakis who explains the procedure, terms and the possible obstacles that you might encounter when filling in and submitting your tax return.

Unlike previous years, all residents of Greece who are over 18 years old must fill in this year's tax return. "This applies regardless of whether you have income and whether you will have to pay a tax or not." Exceptions for adult citizens are made only for students who do not have a business, who are not working part-time and for those who are doing compulsory military service."

"As for foreigners, the law provides that anyone who receives income in Greece must declare it in the country. Citizens who receive income from two or more countries must establish the country where they spent the majority of the tax period and declare all their income in one place," says Mouzakis.

According to the international convention applied so far, a citizen has to pay tax in the country where he or she resides for 183 days a year or more. If the person receives income in another country in parallel, it must be included in the tax return, adding the tax withheld in the other country in order for the tax service to deduct it.

To be able to fill in the tax return in Greece, you must have a code to use the online state tax system TAXIS. How to obtain this code:

1. Go to
2. Choose "Initial registration" (Αρχική εγγραφή)
3. Choose whether you will fill in the tax return as an individual person or as an entity
4. Fill in the requested information
5. Then, go to your local tax office to obtain the codes to fill in the tax return.

Since the beginning of the week, the queues at the tax offices for obtaining the access codes to the system have been enormous. People have been waiting for hours to be able to return home and start filling in the tax returns online. All citizens who submitted their tax returns online last year can use their last year's codes, which are valid until 30 August 2013.

Exceptions to the online submission of the tax return will be allowed only in rare cases when an employee of the tax office considers that the tax return should be submitted in person. A citizen will be allowed to submit the tax return in person rather than online if he or she has no chance to access the Internet or if he or she is illiterate. "I think that these cases will be few," states Mouzakis.

Once you have obtained the access codes, it is time to actually fill in the tax return. First, the data of the taxpayer should be verified. The specialist notes that there is a high probability that the date of birth of the citizen is wrongly entered into the system. "If you encounter a similar problem, you must once again go to the regional tax office to correct the data."

Every amount received during the year and each deducted tax should be included in the tax return with the tax number and details of the relevant individual person or company. "This aims at facilitating the control exercised by the Ministry of Finance, which will easily determine whether we fill in the transactions made during the year correctly," says Mouzakis. In practice, this means that you need to know the tax number and details of all persons and companies from which you received money during the previous year - employers, tenants (if you rent a house), and other sources of income.

Then, within 15 days after the submission of the tax return, you must personally take all supporting documents (contracts for payments, for receiving a rent, bank deposits and documents for revenue from other sources) to the regional tax office as a proof of the income you have declared online. This also applies to pensioners and unemployed. Larger pension funds have already uploaded on the Internet declarations to facilitate their customers. It is expected that the labour offices will do the same.

One of the remaining problems is the taxation of the interest on bank deposits. You do not have to be rich to have a bank account as stated by the tax specialist. You can receive your pension, salary or social benefits in this bank account. Now you have to submit a special document for the interest accrued on the money in the bank during the year and for the income tax withheld from the interest, which will be deducted from the total amount.

"Although banks are required to send to each client a certificate stating the interest and taxes on deposits, they have not yet supplied this information." If you have an account in a Greek bank, contact your branch and ask for a certificate of the received deposit interest and the tax withheld thereon.

This year, citizens must fill in the number of the electric meter of the property in which they live, whether it is their own home or a rented one. If you own a property that has not yet been supplied with electricity and has no meter, you must fill in nine nines (999999999).

Tags: EconomyMarketsTax returnTaxes2013Greece
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