Greek Hotels Chamber: Alterations to Stayover Tax a Must
In order for the newly introduced stayover tax on hotels and rooms-to-let to be effectively collected, a series of adjustments must be made, former president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Yiorgos Tsakiris said in a letter recently sent to Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and Alternate Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou.
“The imposed stayover tax in effect since January 1 has created a number of issues that need to be addressed in order to facilitate collection and return of the said levy,” Tsakiris said.
For starters, Tsakiris suggests requiring hoteliers to issue a single document listing customer stay including the overnight tax in order to minimize bureaucracy and avoid potential errors, while providing a complete and not fragmentary tax representation of the transaction.
He adds that other entities (besides hotels) covering the overnight tax (this may include tour offices, conference planners, unemployment agencies, companies etc) should be given the option to declare so.
Furthermore, he calls for exemption of the stayover tax in the event a customer decides to extend his stay due to delayed departure. This will ensure that clients will not be overcharged should their stay last a few extra hours and in cases of half-day stay, the said tax should be reduced by 50 percent.
On a final note, Tsakiris reiterates the association’s position that hoteliers on the Aegean islands affected by the refugee crisis should be exempt from the tax as a sign of “minimal support by the state” and in line with relevant legislation.
The stayover tax currently in effect foresees a surcharge of 50 cents at one- and two-star hotels, 1.50 euros at three-star hotels, 3.00 euros at four-star hotels and 4.00 euros at 5-star hotels.
One- and two-key furnished rooms/apartments will be charged 25 cents, three-key furnished rooms/apartments 50 cents and four-key furnished rooms/apartments 1.00 euro.
Alexandros Vassilikos, also president of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, on January 15 stepped in as the new head of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.