Newsletter December,2023,12


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Greece adopts new tax law for self-employed, reforms civil service hiring

From tax reform to public sector reform to judicial reform, Greece is moving ahead with a multidimensional modernization program that will further enhance the efficiency of public services and support future economic growth.

This month, Parliament adopted a new law to crack down on tax evasion, particularly among the self-employed, an issue that has long hampered Greek government revenue collections. The government also recently approved new legislation to depoliticize senior civil service appointments and is working on a program to speed up Greece’s slow-moving judiciary.

Each of the initiatives reflect the commitment made by Prime Minister Mitsotakis during his address at the Thessaloniki International Fair in September, and which forms the basis of the government’s policy platform for its second, four-year term.

“Our strategic goal: multidimensional modernization. In other words, coordinated efforts to improve the daily lives of citizens in every aspect of the public sphere: income, health, public service, the state, but also education,” Mr. Mitsotakis said in recent remarks to members of the governing New Democracy party.

The new tax law will, in effect, impose a minimum tax on the self-employed. Starting next year, self-employed workers and professionals will no longer be able to declare income less than the national minimum wage, equal to €10,920 per year. And they will have to show receipts for expenses totaling at least 30% of their income.

The law will also further restrict the use of cash in transactions. It will ban the use of cash in the sale and purchase of real estate, and impose penalties on large cash transactions. Small businesses will be obliged to accept direct, electronic payment methods and will be required to upload business expenses directly on to the electronic database of the tax authorities. Social security and other state benefits will be paid out using debit cards, while point of sale (POS) terminals will now be connected to cash registers.