ECONOMY

Moderate tax breaks on the way

moderate-tax-breaks-on-the-way

The Finance Ministry is planning to introduce targeted tax breaks in food service, transport and tourism, which will be gradually announced up to mid-June.

Sources say that the value-added tax on coffee will be reduced to 13 percent from 24 percent today, the support measures for landlords whose tenants pay 40 percent less will apply this year, and the government will offer state guarantees to airlines.

The government wants the expenditure on supporting businesses and property owners to burden this year’s budget and not that of 2021, partly because that spending will be excluded from the streamlining program’s calculations in 2020 and be financed by European funds.

The main problem is the tourism sector, as according to a top ministry official Athens will need to wait till end-May to establish what it is that companies in the sector need exactly.

On Thursday Minister Christos Staikouras told Thema FM that “we have some moderate tax breaks in mind,” noting that decisions will be within the leeway of the budget: “There are measures for evaluation, there are ideas about the reduction of the [income] tax deposit and VAT on transport,” he stated, while adding that if everything was implemented the numbers wouldn’t add up.

Based on what Staikouras said, the government intends to maintain the support measures in June too, while for the sectors of tourism, food service, transport and culture the safety net will remain open for July and August, and possibly September too.

In any case, the government is awaiting the April figures to confirm enterprises’ losses, as well as those of May in order to make its final decisions. The ministries concerned have already submitted blueprints with measures to support the domains under their jurisdiction, which will be adjusted to the needs of businesses. Unlike in the first stage of the measures, the eventual decisions for the summer will come with specific criteria and be targeted so as to have the maximum impact on the economy and its recovery.