Νon-resident VAT trading / Issuing VAT registration number – Commencement of activity for taxable companies and entities with or without establishment in Greece.
VAT registration is compulsory for foreign companies that perform sales to Greece distant or not, even if they don’t have any establishment in the country. Our firm undertakes the “sign in process” to greek VAT system and provides services for submitting the VAT returns monthly or quarterly. We also proceed with the payment of VAT.
VAT registration is also compulsory for foreign companies that want to initiate a permanent establishment in the country. The process differs a lot from the first case and an accounting firm is essential to prepare and submit all the necessary documents and statements required by the country’s National Tax Authorities.
VAT in Greece
Greece comes under the EU VAT regime, and is part of the EU single market economy. VAT Directives are issued by the EU which lay out the principles of the VAT regime to be adopted by the member states. These Directives take precedent over the local legislation.
Greece VAT law
The Greek VAT law is contained within the General Tax Code. It is administered by the Ministry of Finance and local tax offices.
Greek VAT registration
All foreign companies may register for VAT in Greece without the need to form a local permanent establishment, known as non-resident VAT trading. There is no VAT threshold in Greece for the registration of non-resident traders; a VAT number must be in place before the commencement of taxable supplies, except from distance selling through internet which is 35.000 per year.
Τhere are strict rules on the situations where a registration is permitted. Common scenarios which require a Greek VAT registration include:
- Importing goods into Greece
- Organising live events, conferences, etc, in Greece
- Holding goods in a warehouse in Greece as stock for resale
- ‘Supply and install’ services over 12 months
- Selling goods from Greece to other EU countries
- Distance selling to private individuals in Greece, e.g. internet retailing (registration threshold per year for distance selling: 35.000 euro)
- Supplying goods that are located in Greece at the time of supply.
Registering for Greek VAT generally takes two to three weeks, although this can vary.
Greek VAT compliance
There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of Greek transactions. These include guidelines on:
- Greek invoice requirements
- Foreign currency reporting and translation
- Correcting errors from prior returns
- Credit notes and corrections
- What accounting records must be maintained.
Greece VAT rates
The standard VAT rate in Greece is 24%. There is a reduced rate of 13% for food and drink, hotel accommodation, pharmaceutical products, electricity and other. There is also a 6% VAT rate for some categories like, medicines, theater tickets, newspapers and other selected goods.
There are many variations to the rates above, including exempt taxable supplies.
Greek VAT returns
Companies with a Greek VAT number must submit periodic returns detailing all taxable supplies (sales) and inputs (costs). Generally, returns in Greece are submitted monthly or quarterly. VAT returns in Greece are due by the 25th of the month following the reporting period.
Greek Intrastat and EC sales lists
In addition to VAT returns in Greece, companies may be required to submit additional statistical information.
The Greek Intrastat, which lists sales (dispatches) and purchases (acquisitions), within the EU region, must be filed monthly once the annual threshold is exceeded. Greek EC sales lists, or a recapitulative statement, details customers and the values of sales made to them. It must be submitted on a monthly basis. There is a threshold of 150.000 for purchases and 90.000 for dispatches after which reporting is necessary.
Greece VAT refunds
If a foreign company is providing taxable supplies in Greece but is unable to obtain a Greek VAT number, or is incurring Greek VAT on local goods or services, then any Greek VAT incurred may be recovered through a VAT reclaim.
VAT refund applications are made through the tax authorities of the applicant’s home country.