ECONOMY

Tax deposit reduction set for extension

tax-deposit-reduction-set-for-extension

The Finance Ministry is planning to extend the reduction of the corporate tax deposit by up to 100% into next year too, and is set to continue the obligatory reduction of commercial rents for some sectors into September.

Speaking on ANT1 TV on Tuesday, Minister Christos Staikouras suggested both plans are being considered, saying that the tax deposit reduction is a temporary measure whose use in 2021 will be assessed.

According to data from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, more than 240,000 enterprises and self-employed professionals saw their turnover dive in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning they are entitled to a deposit discount of 30-100%.

The minister stated that the government is examining the extension of the 40% rental rate reduction into this month for commercial leasings in the sectors of food service, tourism, culture, sports and transport, which have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

The voluntary agreement between landlords and tenants for the reduction of rents through till at least the end of the year will also be acknowledged through an amendment to be passed that will secure owners a 30% return of their losses in the form of tax offsetting, according to sources. This will concern all sectors, not only those already enjoying the obligatory rent reduction.

Asked about the introduction of tax breaks of a permanent character, in line with the government’s election manifesto, Staikouras noted that “it will all depend on the intensity and the extent of the health crisis. Today we do not know when the health crisis will end,” he said, adding that the package which the government will present in Thessaloniki on September 12-13 will contain both temporary and permanent tax breaks.

The finance minister also said that Athens wants to strengthen the country’s defense capacity, noting that the ministry has already set some cash aside for the bolstering of the armed forces within 2020. He stressed that this not only concerns arms purchases, but also “a series of initiatives that the Greek state has to take in this field, and the Finance Ministry is supporting the choices and priorities the Greek government and the prime minister have set.”