BUSINESS

Profession fee scheduled to be slashed

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

The government is scheduling a reduction of the annual fee to practice a profession – known in Greek as “telos epitidevmatos” – by 30 percent and the solidarity levy by 20-30 percent from this year, which is aimed at boosting the Greek economy and reducing state expenditure.

A top Finance Ministry official explained to Kathimerini that both levies, which have inflicted a disproportionately high burden on households and enterprises, contribute over 1.6 billion euros per year in total to the state budget and would be very difficult to abolish at once.

He added that the profession fee and the solidarity levy will be entirely abolished by the end of 2023.

The government’s plan provides for the reduction of the profession fee to come at zero cost for the 2020 budget, as it is imposed according to the incomes declared by individuals and corporations: 2020 incomes will be declared in 2021, which means the cost would be transferred to next year’s budget and amount to 160 million euros.

The cost of the reduction of the solidarity levy will range between 240 and 350 million euros for this year’s budget if it applies to the entire year. If it only applies to the second half of 2020, the cost will come to 120-175 million euros.

According to the 2020 budget the revenues from the profession fee amount to 482 million euros, coming from some 611,000 individuals conducting business activity.

The fee amounts to 800 euros per year for commercial enterprises based in tourism destinations and cities up to 200,000 inhabitants, 1,000 euros for businesses based in cities with more than 200,000 people, and 650 euros for personal enterprises and freelance professionals. An additional 600 euros is charged for every branch of a company.

The government’s objective is to cut each of the two levies by 30 percent each year so that they will have been completely abolished by 2023.

In the meantime the government expects to reduce its expenditure by 2 billion euros. Government officials say that the benefit from the reduction of state consumption spending and the improvement of state corporations’ figures will reach 500 million euros, or 0.25 percent of gross domestic product.

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