By Sotiris Nikas
Taxpayers face a demanding nine months ahead, starting from June and ending in February 2014, with the implementation of a multi-bill drafted by the Finance Ministry and debated in Parliament over the weekend.
Besides regular income taxes and numerous other obligations being faced by Greek taxpayers, the taxation of real estate property has become the focus of attention after the ministry’s decision to demand the payment of the 2011 and 2012 property tax (FAP) in seven monthly installments this year.
Taxing property is seen as the only safe and efficient way to boost revenues, given that indirect taxation is bringing ever-smaller amounts of money into state coffers due to the drop in consumption. In this context, the fiscal adjustment as far as revenues are concerned this year will rely on taxing property.
The measures of the multi-bill are projected to generate an additional 5.9 billion euros in state revenues for the period from 2013 to 2017. The state stands to gain in excess of 6 billion euros from the measures with the addition of a planned increase in teachers’ working hours that is expected to save 103 million euros from the budget spending of 2013 and 2014.
The settlement of debts to tax authorities is expected to fetch 2.73 billion euros in these five years; the application of the extraordinary special property levy, to be paid again this year through electricity bills, will bring in an estimated 1.9 billion euros; the settlement of debts to the social security funds will result in the collection of 795 million euros in the period from 2013 to 2016 according to labor industry estimates; and the extraordinary levy on photovoltaic systems will add 490 million euros this and next year to state revenues.
The property tax to be paid again via power bills will be broken down in five installments, with the last due in February 2014. Its rate will be 15 percent lower than in the two previous years, as the number of properties to be taxed has grown considerably with the inclusion of properties rented to the state, 17 percent of the surface of camping enterprises and even unfinished buildings that are connected to the power grid.
The FAP property tax for 2011 and 2012 will concern over 500,000 owners, who will start receiving pay notices in June. The FAP for 2013 will also be payable this year, in four installments, with notices expected from September.
Finally, people with expired debts to the state will be able to settle them in as many as 48 monthly installments.