ECONOMY

Drinks only exception to lower VAT rate, says FinMin general secretary

Value-added tax on food services is set at 13 percent irrespectively of where the food is consumed said the Greek Finance Ministry’s general secretary for revenues Haris Theocharis on social networking site Twitter on Wednesday. Theocharis noted that the only exception to the new VAT rate applied in the drinks category, depending on whether goods where consumed in restaurants and bars or were ordered for take out.

The general secretary’s comments followed a circular issued on Tuesday by the Finance Ministry which was intended to clarify the application of the reduction of VAT in the food services industry.

The government announced that the tax would decrease from 23 to 13 percent starting on August 1 and until December 31, at restaurants, tavernas, bars and hotels.

The circular led to some confusion as, for instance, a soft drink ordered for delivery will have a 23 percent VAT rate, but if consumed at a local restaurant will have 13 percent VAT rate.