FINANCE

Automatic VAT rebates soon

New system will allow for the immediate payment of dues to enterprises and professionals

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Value-added tax rebates will soon become automatic, without the required intervention of tax officials.

According to the planning of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, interested companies and freelance professionals will be able to submit their demands electronically and observe their VAT rebate due being credited to their bank account in a short period of time.

This process will be followed for the majority of money return applications, including 97% of tax rebate demands. For other applications the authorities will perform inspections, and demand additional data.

High rebates will be paid out faster, but will be excluded from the automated system for monitoring purposes. Also exempted will be cases of companies with repeated tax violations in the past.

The new plan of the tax administration provides for corporations and professionals to be immediately notified about the payment date of their rebates via email, as long as their case is to be processed automatically, without checks. That effectively means that the digitization of tax transactions will reduce human intervention to the minimum and pave the way for express payments.

That will also free up staff in the tax administration for other tasks, such as inspections, says a Finance Ministry official. He adds that the My Data online platform of the IAPR has a key role in the automatic VAT rebate payment process. The new system will allow the tax authorities to know the revenues they will have every month, thereby allowing for the activation of the automatic rebates concerning income tax and VAT that consistent taxpaying enterprises deserve (they currently have to wait months to get their money back).

The automatic system for VAT rebates through the digitization and simplification of procedures between the tax authorities and corporations constitutes one of the reforms of the Greece 2.0 plan, and the IAPR has already started the process for these changes to start within the year.