Tax benefits for R&D expenses
Greek law offers robust tax incentives to businesses involved in scientific and technological research.
To be more specific, Article 22A of the Hellenic Income Tax Code (Law 4172/2013) states that expenditure on scientific and technological research -which includes depreciation on equipment and instruments used to carry out scientific and technological research- is deductible from the gross revenues of businesses during the year the expenditure is incurred, augmented by 30%.
So under this legislative provision, when filing its tax return the business must submit the documentation needed to justify the research and technological expenditure incurred, to the General Secretariat for Research & Technology of the Ministry of Education, Research & Religious Affairs. That expenditure is then audited and confirmed within a period of 10 months.
The criteria used to characterise that expenditure are to be set out in a Joint Ministerial Decision issued by the Ministers of Finance and Education, Research & Religious Affairs. Quite recently, Joint Ministerial Decision No. 109343/12/2017 of the Ministers of Education, Research & Religious Affairs and Finance was issued laying down the criteria for expenditure to be characterised as business scientific and technological research expenditure pursuant to Article 22A of the Hellenic Income Tax Code, thereby repealing the previously applicable Ministerial Decision No. 12962 (ΠΟΛ)2029/03.11.1987.
The provisions of the new Joint Ministerial Decision apply to how such expenditure is to be characterised from the 2017 tax year onwards.