3 August 2015

The Greek legislation L.4334/2015 published on 16 July 2015 introduces changes to the VAT regime as well as IPT rate changes.  The VAT changes are understood to have occurred on 20 July 2015 unless otherwise mentioned below.
 
Certain VATable sales settled through any bank are to be subject to immediate withholding by the bank of the VAT element. This VAT is to be directly remitted to the Greek State within five days of the payment. The bank will provide certification to the supplier of the attributed VAT amounts for declaration purposes. For these services, banking institutions should not charge any fee or expenses. Quite when withholding will begin is likely to be dependent on the timing of the required systems changes, and government guidelines are anticipated.
 
Passenger transport, restaurant and catering services, and foodstuffs such as coffee, tea, sugar, prepared or processed meat and ready meals move from the reduced 13% rate to the standard rate of 23%. Basic foods such as milk, bread, olive oil, fish and meat remain at 13%.  The lower reduced rate of 6.5% becomes 6%, but hotel accommodation will move to 13% from 6.5% as of 1 October 2015. The biggest rise is the application of 23% to all businesses providing lecturing or tutorial services that were previously exempted from VAT.
 
The 30% discount on rates in the islands will be phased out. Depending on the island, the new rates of 6%, 13%, and 23% will apply from 1 October 2015, 1 June 2016 or 31 December 2016.