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Greek Tourism Sector to Shoulder Tax Burden in 2018

Kastellorizo is among the Greek islands that will revert to increased value-added tax (VAT) rates as of January 1, 2018.

Kastellorizo is among the Greek islands that will revert to increased value-added tax (VAT) rates as of January 1, 2018.

Greece’s tourism sector is set to bear the brunt of the country’s economic recovery according to the economy ministry’s latest set of measures to take effect in 2018.

Airbnb-style rentals, a stayover tax and uniform VAT rates across Greece (no exception for the islands) are among eight new measures aiming to boost weak state coffers by 951 million euros.

More specifically, individuals profiting from renting out their properties on sharing economy platforms (such as Airbnb) will be taxed 15 percent for gains of up to 12,000 euros, 35 percent for incomes between 12,001 and 35,000 euros, and 45 percent for those exceeding 35,000 euros, provided the properties are rented out furnished without additional services other than bed linen. For those offering additional services on the side, gains are assessed as income from business activity and taxed at 22 percent for earnings up to 20,000 euros, 29 percent for income between 20,001 and 30,000 euros, 37 percent for revenue between 30,001 and 40,000 euros, and 45 percent for profits exceeding 40,000 euros.

Rigas HotelThe stayover tax meanwhile, applying for  hotels and furnished rooms/apartments for rent is calculated based on the number of overnight stays and the category of the accommodation unit, ranging from 50 cents to four euros per room. One- and two-star hotels will be charged 0.50 euros, three-star hotels 1,50 euros, four-star hotels 3,00 euros and 5-star hotels 4,00 euros. One- and two-key furnished rooms/apartments will be charged 0.25 euros, three-key furnished rooms/apartments 0.50 euros and four-key furnished rooms/apartments 1,00 euro.

Lastly, residents and business owners on 32 Greek islands in the Dodecanese and North Aegean Region, as of 2018 will pay more for services and products as they revert to increased value-added tax (VAT) rates (27 islands will see their VAT rates rise as of January 1 and the measure will be imposed on the remaining five islands as of June 30). The new rates will go from the current 5 percent, 9 percent and 17 percent to 6 percent, 13 percent and 24 percent, respectively. Indicatively, prices for medication, books, magazines and newspapers will increase by 1.5 percent after a 6 percent VAT increase on these islands.

Others to shoulder the weight of the economy ministry’s 2018 set of measures are pensioners.

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