Good news for property sellers, farmers, soldiers and the police

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

The Finance Ministry is attempting to correct some problematic clauses in recent tax laws with a bill to be submitted to Parliament on February 27, which, according to sources, will reduce the fines for failing to issue receipts, ease the tax burden on farmers and raise the maximum amount of salaries or pensions that cannot be confiscated from 1,000 euros today to 1,500 euros.

The bill will also introduce changes to the capital gains tax on real estate and stocks, as well as regulations concerning the offsetting of debts to and of the state. Furthermore, the draft law will dissociate the submission of the periodic value-added tax statement from the payment of the tax, and correct certain clauses regarding benefits given to members of the armed forces, police and coast guard. Additionally, the bill will incorporate other regulations for the smooth operation of the market, Finance Ministry officials say.

Originally the draft law was meant to be tabled before representatives of the country’s creditors arrive in Athens – now scheduled for Sunday – but the Finance Ministry’s legal department has asked for more time in order to avoid any errors, as has been the case in most tax bills submitted recently.

Regarding the changes to the capital gains tax on real estate, properties older than 25 years will be exempt from the levy, while for other properties a system of automatic determination of the acquisition price will apply that will incorporate current market rates, effectively reducing the tax that is payable. The rate will remain at 15 percent of the profits from the property’s sale. The tax will be determined by tax authorities and notaries will be responsible for its collection from sellers and its payment to the state.