BUSINESS

Finance Ministry begins overhauling of objective values

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Property

The government is planning major changes in the way that property rates used for tax purposes (known as objective values) are determined, with adjustments in the age and commerciality factors as well as the addition of 7,000 more areas into the system. The aim is to rationalize the objective value system so that objective values match the going rates.

As the Finance Ministry said on Friday, its reforms schedule includes changes in how the objective values are calculated, as the first meeting, which included Minister Christos Staikouras and General Secretary of Economic Policy Christos Triantopoulos, has decided to focus on two fields with structural weaknesses.

The first concerns the expansion and rationalization of the objective determination of real estate value and the second has to do with the gaps identified in the system of private surveyors, which needs changes and improvements. Emphasis will be placed on standardizing the procedure so as to yield results that are better, more usable and as objective as possible.

It is against this backdrop that a task force will operate; it will be a group of academics, experts and officials from the ministries and agencies involved.

They will address distortions such as the disparity in the way residential properties are valued, depending on the purpose of the valuation: For instance, there is one objective value used for a property in order to determine the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) due and another for the imposition of taxes such as the transaction tax.

The scope of the task force includes the modernization of the objective value assessment system through the use of new technologies, the standardization – based on European surveying standards – of the process of valuation by private surveyors, and the promotion of the digitalization of the procedure to determine objective values in order to see it become completely automatic in the coming years.

Realty market professionals say the property zone rates will have to be overhauled, with new zones created, commerciality and age coefficients revised etc so as to take them as close as possible to the market rates, using a single value for all tax purposes. They also stress that the data must be updated annually to keep up with market developments.

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