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Iason Skouzos & Partners > Special topics

Tax treatment of foreign trust and foreign foundation under Greek law (Circular 1114/2017 of the Ministry of Finance)

GENERAL According to Greek law, the Anglo-Saxon trust, which is an institution with origins in the common law, is a sui generis property management and liquidation regime, which has no legal personality and which is created either by a declaration of the owner of the property or by transferring such property, whether inter vivos or by means of a will. The settlor or trustor of the trust enters into a deed of settlement with the trustee and transfers to him assets, which he manages for the benefit of other persons, trustees or beneficiaries or to his own benefit (the trustee)...

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Establishment of a foreign shipping company’s office in Greece (L. 27/1975)

According to Article 25 of Law 27/1975, “By decision of the Ministers of Finance, Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks and Shipping and the Aegean, specific issues are regulated, related to the required supporting documents and the procedure for the establishment of offices in Greece or branches of foreign shipping companies, as well as any other necessary details”. According to no. 3122.18/03/13 – Government Gazette B 3263 / 20.12.2013 – Regulation of details concerning the required supporting documents and the procedure for the establishment in Greece of offices or branches of foreign shipping companies and subordination of domestic shipping companies to...

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Documentation requirements for taxpayers under Greek law – rights of access of the tax administration

Article 13 of Law 4174/2013 (Hellenic Tax Procedures Code) states that all persons with income from business activities are obliged to keep a reliable accounting system and suitable accounting records in accordance with the accounting standards specified in Greek law in order to prepare financial statements and other information in accordance with the tax laws. The accounting system and accounting records are examined as a whole, and not individual parts thereof, in terms of their reliability and suitability. “Accounting records, electronic tax registers, tax memories and files generated by electronic tax registers” must be retained for at least: (a) a period...

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Liability for transfer of a Group of assets (Article 479 CC)

According to Article 479 of the Civil Code, “Where assets or an undertaking have been transferred by contract, the transferee shall be liable to the creditor up to the value of the elements transferred for the debts of the assets or the undertaking. The transferor’s liability is not extinguished. Any agreement between the parties which damages the lenders is void against them”. It may be deduced from applying mutatis mutandis Article 25, second sub-paragraph, of the Civil Code and Article 4(4) of Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council, of 17 June2008, on the law applicable to...

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Abuse of the corporate form – Piercing/lifting of the corporate veil

According to established case-law, piercing / lifting of the corporate veil is justified where: i. the legal person is used as an interposed person, ii. there exists a dominant shareholder who prevails in a manner such as that the company does not operate as a legal person, and iii. the institution is being abused, i.e. insisting on the principle of separation would lead to results unacceptable by the law, and the dominant shareholder uses the legal person either to circumvent the law or to intentionally cause damage to third parties or to avoid complying with its obligations towards third parties. Under Greek law, the...

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Alternative taxation method pursuant to Article 5A of Law 4172/2013, as added by Law No 4646/2019 (Greek Government Gazette No A’ 201/12.12.2019)

Pursuant to the recent legal framework [Article 5A of Law 4172/2013], an individual who transfers his/her tax residence in Greece may be subject to an alternative income tax regime. The requirements which must be met are the following: a) The individual concerned has not been a tax resident in Greece for the previous seven (7) of the last eight (8) years; Cases:  Whether the individual appears in the records of the Tax Administration as a foreign tax resident for the previous seven (7) of the last eight (8) years, no supporting documentation is required.  Whether information proving the individual's tax residence during the...

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Establishment of a branch of a foreign ΝGO in Greece

A. A foreign Non-governmental organization (hereinafter “NGO”) can establish a branch in Greece, even if its legal form is not applicable in Greece. The supporting documentation required for the approval of the establishment in Greece of a branch of a foreign company by the competent General Commercial Register is the following: 1. Application signed before the Department of the General Commercial Register upon submission of the supporting documents. 2. Company decision related to the establishment of a branch in Greece, specifying the purpose, the location, the name and the legal representative of the branch; 3. Copy of the Articles of Association of the foreign...

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Pizza industry growth model is changing

Market moving at 10% worldwide - Greek chains battling for their share. The digital age is signalling significant opportunities and challenges for the pizza market, both in Greece, where the industry is recovering after the maelstrom of the economic crisis, and worldwide. According to a Business Wire survey, the global market is expected to exceed $233 billion by 2023, with an average annual growth rate of over 10% for the period 2019-2023. According to international analysts, factors such as the increasing urban population, disposable income, consumer trends amongst the younger generation and the growth of the fast food market are expected over...

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Establishment of a branch of a foreign company in Greece – Supporting documentation before the Commercial Registry

The supporting documentation required for the approval of the establishment in Greece of a branch of a foreign company by the competent General Commercial Register is the following: 1. Company decision related to the establishment of a branch in Greece, specifying the purpose, the location, the name and the legal representative of the branch. 2. Copy of the Articles of Association of the foreign company, as in force at the time of the application (certified by the competent foreign Authority). 3. Certificate issued by the competent foreign authority confirming that the company has not been dissolved nor its establishment has been revoked. 4. Certificate...

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Upcoming tax developments in Greece

VAT Suspension of the imposition of VAT on construction activity for the following three (3) years. Reduction of VAT rates from 13% to 11% and from 24% to 22% within the following four (4) years, especially for baby essentials. Gradual imposing of e-business invoicing (B2B) and e- accounting books.   Real estate tax Reduction of the Unified Real Estate Property Tax (hereafter EN.F.I.A.) rates within the next two (2) years. Suspension of the imposition of goodwill tax on the transfer of property for the next three (3) years. Tax deductions for the expenses related to energy functional and upgrading of...

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