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 of 5 years “from the end of the relevant tax year within which there is an obligation to submit a tax return”, or
(b) where the conditions in Article 36(2) of the Code are met, until the tax administration’s right to issue a decision levying tax in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph becomes statute-barred, or
(c) until the tax administration’s claim arising from a tax audit becomes final or until the claim is fully extinguished due to settlement in full.
Under Article 24 of that Code (“Access to accounting books and records”), the tax administration is entitled to obtain copies of the books and records and other documents, and the taxpayer must declare that they represent true copies. Where the taxpayer refuses to make the said declaration, the employee appointed by the tax administration makes a note on the documents. The designated employee may also require that the taxpayer or his tax agent attend the place where the tax audit is carried out and answer questions posed to him to make it easier for a tax audit to be carried out. If the books and records are kept in electronic format, the tax administration is entitled to access any related files. More specifically, the taxpayer is obliged to provide all information needed to ensure uninterrupted access to the tax administration’s designated employee, irrespective of the place where the data are stored and the format of that data. All third parties who provide digital services to the taxpayer relating to the storage and processing of digital data have the same obligation, where that is requested by the tax administration. The tax administration is entitled to receive the electronic files in readable electronic format or hard copy. The employee designated by the tax administration may seize books and records kept or held in accordance with the tax laws and any other unofficial books, documents, files or records, if considered necessary to safeguard them as evidence.
* The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as at the time of writing. We have no obligation to update it. We accept no responsibility against any third party who is not a client of the firm and has not signed the terms of our engagement.