Greece – New Law Modifies Personal Tax System, Some Rate Increases

Greece – New Law Modifies Personal Tax System, Some

This GMS Flash Alert reports on recently enacted Greek laws that have reformed the country’s social security system and personal taxation rules.

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Recently enacted Greek laws have reformed the country’s social security system and personal taxation rules.1

WHY THIS MATTERS

Greece’s financial crisis and the rigors of austerity imposed by the country’s international creditors have induced further changes to Greece’s tax system.  As such, assignees working in Greece subject to Greek tax law and those working outside of Greece still subject to Greek tax law are likely to see an increase in their tax burden as they pay higher income tax and solidarity contribution and there is a squeeze on their tax credits.

International assignment cost projections and budgeting for assignments to Greece and for assignees outside Greece still subject to Greek taxation should take into account the changes described in this newsletter.  Employers will need to make the necessary payroll adjustments and update hypothetical tax calculations for tax equalized assignees.   

Law 4387/2016 – Measures Affecting Individuals

Individual Income Tax Rates and Thresholds (Notes 1, 2, 3)

The income tax scale has been made more progressive with the addition of a fourth bracket and rate.  The new tax scale on salaries and/or pension income (hereinafter income) is shown on the following page.2  The top rate which had been set at 42 percent is now set at 45 percent. 

New for 2016

Income bracket in EUR Rate %
0 – 20,000 22%
20,001 – 30,000 29%
30,001 – 40,000 37%
40,001 and higher 45%

Income Tax Credit for Individuals (Notes 1, 2, 3)

The tax credit has been modulated and a lower income ceiling applies.  The tax credit on income up to EUR 20,000 (previously, EUR 21,000) is set as follows:

  • EUR 1,900 for taxpayers without children;
  • EUR 1,950 for taxpayers with one child;
  • EUR 2,000 for taxpayers with two children;
  • EUR 2,100 for taxpayers with three children.

Where the income exceeds EUR 20,000, the amount of the tax credit is reduced by EUR 10 (instead of EUR 100 as it was previously) per EUR 1,000 income.  (The amount of EUR 10 seems odd, but that is what is published in the Government Gazette.)

 

Notes:

1  The above tax scale is also applicable to the net taxable profits of individual entrepreneurs and freelancers.  However such individuals are not eligible for the tax credits applicable to pensioners and employees.

2  The above tax scale and tax credits are also applicable to individual farmers.  The previous 13-percent special tax regime is abolished.

3  In case of a taxpayer earning income from pension, employment, and farming activity, the applicable tax credit is calculated on the aggregate income reported. However, where a taxpayer earns income from other sources, the tax credit will be calculated only on the income from pensions, employment, and/or farming.

Taxation of Dividends

The tax rate on dividends is increased from 10 percent to 15 percent.  New rules provide that the new rate applies for income earned from 1 January 2017 onwards. 

Taxation of Rental Income

Rental income is taxed at the following tax rates/brackets:

  • 15% (increased from 11%) for income up to EUR 12,000;
  • 35% (increased from 33%) for income from EUR 12,001 and up to EUR 35,000; and
  • 45% (new rate/bracket) for income exceeding EUR 35,000.

Special Solidarity Contribution

The special solidarity contribution has been made more progressive with the addition of a new bracket, and going forward higher rates apply.  The special solidarity contribution is incorporated into the Income Tax Code and is applied on all taxable income (i.e., earned taxable income, investment income, dividends, interest, etc.).  The new progressive scale3 is as follows:

Aggregated Income in EUR Rate %
0 – 12,000 0%
12,001 – 20,000 2.2%
20,001 – 30,000 5.00%
30,001 – 40,000 6.50%
40,001 – 65,000 7.50%
65,001 – 220,000 9.00%
220,001 and higher 10.00%

Company Cars

The taxable benefit-in-kind from the use of company cars is increased for 2016 onwards to 80 percent (from 30 percent)4 on the vehicles cost recorded as an expense in the employer’s accounting books.

FOOTNOTES

1  Law 4387/2016 (Government Gazette Ά 85/12.05.2016) on “Unified Social Security System – insurance and pension system reform – Income tax and gambling games regulations” and, Law 4386/2016 (Government Gazette Ά 83/11.05.2016) amending the treatment of research and development (R&D) expenses.

We will report on the social security changes in more detail in a subsequent GMS Flash Alert.  

2  For the previous tax rates applied to individuals, see the KPMG publication Taxation of International Executives: Greece.

3  For the previous Social Solidarity Contribution rates applied to individuals, see the KPMG publication Taxation of International Executives: Greece.

4  For taxable benefits-in-kind, see the KPMG publication Taxation of International Executives: Greece (under “Types of compensation”) .

RELATED RESOURCE

This article is excerpted with permission, from “Tax – Breaking News” (May 2016), a publication of the KPMG International member firm in Greece.

CONTACTS

For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or the following professional with the KPMG International member firm in Greece:  

 

Georgia Stamatelou 

Tel. +30 210 60 62 227

gstamatelou@kpmg.gr

The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Greece.

© 2016 KPMG Advisors AE, a Greece Corporation and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Flash Alert is an Global Mobility Services publication of KPMG LLPs Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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