BUSINESS

Incorrect property declarations to lead to 5-year fines for owners

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Finance

Hundreds of thousands of property owners stand to pay five-year fines after legitimizing illegal constructions without declaring the true surface area of their assets.

The draft budget dictates that the revenues of local authorities will be 145 million euros higher thanks to the cross checking and verification of square meter data for the correct calculation of the council tax and the adjustment of property rates used for tax purposes (known as “objective values”).

Kathimerini understands that the government foresees the retroactive payment of five years of fines and the abolition of penalties amounting to 50 percent of the council tax due. The sums owners will be asked to pay can be arranged in more than 50 monthly installments.

What has yet to be decided is whether the government will bring a clause to Parliament or the local authorities will create a payment framework for sums pending for a number of years and creating major problems for owners that want to transfer their assets.

After the calculation of the retroactive payments, property owners will see a hike in their Property Tax (TAP) and council tax in their electricity bills. TAP is collected by the local authority through power bills provided the property is connected to the national grid.

Nevertheless, market professionals note that the cross-checking of property surface area, either through the data of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) or the E9 form submitted with income tax declarations, is a particularly difficult procedure and is unlikely to have any impact on the state budget, for 2020 at least.

The president of the Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA), Stratos Paradias, told Kathimerini that the best solution would be for owners to be asked to voluntarily declare the actual area of their assets without having to pay retroactive fines or penalties.

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