BUSINESS

ENFIA property tax hitting home again

TAGS: Economy, Property

The amounts due in property tax (ENFIA) were posted on taxpayers’ Taxisnet accounts on Monday, as the discrepancies between the market and taxable values of real estate in Greece continue.

The total bill comes to 3.15 billion euros, although the government only expects to collect 2.65 billion euros of that. Any of the 7.4 million property owners who are not able to meet the charge face the prospect of confiscation.

Around half a million homeowners have to pay extra tax, totaling 630 million euros. Meanwhile, just over 1 million owners will pay less than 50 euros each in ENFIA. More than 66,000 taxpayers are exempt from having to pay the levy at all because of a lack of income. Another 1.2 million will receive a 50 percent discount for similar reasons.

The tax can be paid in five monthly installments, starting in September.

However, there is still a large gap between the so-called “objective” values of properties used by tax authorities to calculate the levy on each building or plot of land and their market value. There have been cases of properties being sold for 70 percent below the objective value.

The gradual publication online of taxpayers’ ENFIA statements also sparked a political clash between the government and the opposition on Monday. “Our fellow citizens, who are already exhausted from paying taxes, now have to pay another 3.1 billion euros for ENFIA,” said New Democracy spokesman Vassilis Kikilias. He highlighted that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had promised to scrap the tax two years ago and to reduce the charges last year. Conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pledged to reduce ENFIA by 30 percent during his first two years in power.

The government responded by dismissing New Democracy’s comments as “cheap” and pointed out that the tax had been brought in by a coalition led by the conservatives. The government also argued that it had reduced charges for those on lower incomes and accused New Democracy of “lacking the political courage” to admit that it was wrong to vote against this reduction.

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