No change to receipt collection system

Following months of wrangling and with the year already in its 10th week, the Finance Ministry finally reached a decision on Friday on which receipts taxpayers should collect for tax purposes in 2014. The decision signed by Deputy Minister Giorgos Mavraganis provides for no change to the system used in 2013, given that receipts from supermarkets, fuel stations, tavernas and so on will fully count toward the sum taxpayers are required to collect for the year.

The only difference from 2013 is that for 2014 taxpayers will only have to collect receipts equal to just 10 percent of their annual income (up to the maximum level of 10,500 euros), against 25 percent for 2013 incomes.

For taxpayers to enjoy the tax exemption of 2,100 euros from their annual income to the full, they will need to collect one-tenth of their income in receipts, otherwise they will be forced to pay a fine equal to 22 percent of the sum they have failed to cover with their collected receipts. For example, a taxpayer with an income of 20,000 euros would require receipts totaling 2,000 euros for 2014, while for 2013 they required receipts of 5,000 euros. The 22 percent penalty means that a taxpayer with an income of 20,000 euros and receipts of 1,000 euros in 2014 will be forced to pay a fine of 220 euros.

Among the receipts that count for tax purposes are those from spending on food, beverages, tobacco, apparel, house repair and maintenance services and materials, durable goods (such as household items), fuel for and maintenance of vehicles, recreation and entertainment, hotels, cafeterias, restaurants and tavernas. Not included are receipts for public transport services, utilities, telecommunications, pay TV, road tolls, private schools and property rentals, among others.

Details of 2013 incomes and receipts collected last year will have to be submitted electronically to the Finance Ministry by June 30 at the latest.

The receipts are only taken into account for the calculation of the taxable income if they are included in an income declaration submitted in time; they are added up for spouses and divided between them depending on the declared and taxed income.