BUSINESS

Schedules for property tax form corrections

By Prokopis Hatzinikolaou

Taxpayers in Greece will have to pay the first installment of the new single property ownership tax (ENFIA) at the end of September, Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Thursday in the wake of the uproar resulting from the many blatantly unrealistic errors in the individual calculations which went online on Monday. The new – hopefully corrected – calculations, will be uploaded in the first half of September.

However, it still has to be determined whether the September installment will be a double tranche (to include that for August which was rolled back). Officials confide they are planning for the payment of only one monthly installment in September (out of a total of six). The prime minister’s office is awaiting a response from Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, who will have to assess any cash flow problems in the coming months if the installments are extended to February. After the end of the summer recess on August 25, the Finance Ministry will table an amendment correcting the excessive tax rates calculated in hundreds of districts across the country and then publish only the new corrected figures.

Form correction

After September 15, and once all tax amounts due have been uploaded anew, the ministry’s Taxisnet application for property declarations (E9) will open for owners to correct any data if necessary. New calculations will be made for these properties and any excess amounts paid will be deducted from the remaining installments.

Taxpayers are advised that:

* First, the ENFIA will be recalculated in cases where the value of the property appeared as much more than last year’s, so in all cases the tax amount due will be less. For instance, the taxable value of a 706-square meter land plot with a dwelling on the island of Cephalonia was calculated last year at 59,408 euros. This year its value was somehow raised to 144,834 euros. In the upcoming corrections, the 2013 value will stay. By contrast, the value of a 300 sq.m. plot in eastern Attica will stay at the 35,000 euros arrived at this year instead of the 115,000 euros calculated last year.

* Second, they ought to check the taxable value of their properties (on the basis of official valuations according to district). This can be done by comparing the 2013 figure in the Taxisnet property register with that used for the initial calculation of this year’s tax. This can be done for land plots, auxiliary spaces and apartments but not for farm plots (where there were not many mistakes).

Taxpayers’ errors

* Many errors in the calculations were due to taxpayers’ mistakes in filling out the E9 form. For instance, farm plots had been declared as land plots, while half-finished apartments had not been entered as such, thereby missing out on the 60 percent discount.

* All taxpayers who were responsible for such mistakes or omissions have to log on to the E9 application when it opens again after September 15 and submit an amended declaration by the end of November at the latest. Recalculations will follow and any amounts paid in excess will be rebated.

* In cases where joint ownership shares not entered correctly or at all, calculations are based on a 100 percent assumption. Likewise, when the floor number an apartment is not entered, the calculation is made on the assumption of a 6th-floor flat.

* Years of birth have to entered in full with four digits.

Online