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Sharing Economy, Taxation Taking a Bite Out of Greek Tourism

rooms-to-letOvertaxation and the sharing economy are taking a toll on small tourist enterprises with many going under, the president of the Confederation of Greek Entrepreneurs for Tourism Lodges (SETKE), Konstantinos Brentanos, said during SETKE’s recent annual convention.

Mr Brentanos referred to the income tax hike from 26 percent to 29 percent, the increase in VAT from 6 percent to 13 percent on accommodation and from 13 percent to 23 percent on F&B, the advance tax up to 100 percent, as well as to the so-called solidarity tax and insurance contributions.

SETKE President Konstantinos Brentanos

SETKE President Konstantinos Brentanos

“To make matters worse, in this difficult business environment, there is another obstacle, the phenomenon of the sharing economy, which is spreading rapidly worldwide and in our country,” Mr Bretnanos said.

Mr Brentanos stressed the need for the government to reach a final framework that will regulate crucial issues having to do with the sharing economy, how renting out apartments and villas will be taxed, under what classifications etc.

“These issues should have already been regulated, particularly in view of the fact that turnover from this activity exceeded 2.2 billion euros in 2015, with corresponding taxes never going into state coffers,” he said. Instead, the ministry decided to abolish the law that foresaw steep fines for establishments operating without the special tourism accommodation sticker.

In the meantime, Mr Brentanos pointed out that the majority of tourist enterprises – more than 80 percent – will not be able to tap into EU funding through the NSRF due to an employment ratio requirement that would expect a family run business to hire an extra employee for six months for two years with working family members not being able to count as such.

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