VAT refund waits over 2 years long

Greek firms are forced to wait an average of 298 days, or nearly 10 months, for their VAT refunds to come through, according to data provided by the General Secretariat of Public Revenue.

The same report noted that VAT refund delays at one particular local tax office were even longer, reaching 797 days, or over two years and two months.

The total amount owed by the state in VAT refunds at the end of last week was 882.8 million euros, up by over 15.2 percent or 120.8 million in that week alone, the secretariat’s latest data showed.

Also, over the same one-week period, the number of VAT refund applications submitted rose by 766, to 5,367 from 4,601.

The figures showed a slight week-to-week improvement in the average VAT refund waiting time, as it dropped marginally to 298 days last week from 307 the week before. However, data for the total number of enterprises awaiting VAT refunds increased to 23,214 from 22,071 a week earlier, a 5.2 percent increase.

The northern port city of Thessaloniki’s sixth tax office topped the list in terms of the highest average waiting time for VAT refunds, the period required being 797 days.

The total amount owed by that tax office in VAT refunds stood at 10.7 million euros.