Getting Your VAT Returns in Greece

It’s the birthplace of the Olympics, the cradle of civilization, the source of myths and legends. It has sunny skies nearly all year round and endless beaches with blue waves and pristine sands.

It’s Greece and for some it is the very picture of paradise. It has a romantic allure that rivaled only by Paris, but at a much lower price.

Unlike other island getaways, Greece is a developed country with a democratic government and first-world standards. That’s why it’s such a magnet for trade shows and business conferences. People from all corners of the globe come to experience the unique combination of business and pleasure only Greece can offer.

With its seaside resorts and first-rate facilities, Greece hosts hundreds of international summits each year. Business travel accounted for a sizable portion of the 27 million tourists who packed the Greek islands in 2017. Not bad when you consider that Greece is a country of less than 11 million people.  That’s almost three tourists for every resident.

The capital city of Athens hosted the Olympic Games as recently as 2004, ensuring that there is ample space for even the largest gatherings. The city of Thessaloniki has been called “The business hub of the Balkans,” while also boasting impressive night life, exciting entertainment, and plenty of restaurants to meet any standard.

The Ins and Outs of VAT Returns in Greece

Although VAT recovery apps do most of the work when it comes to filing VAT return forms, there are still a number of elements people need to remember in order to ensure the process goes right.

Greece is a founding member of the EU and uses the Euro as its currency. The VAT rates in Greece are 24% as a Standard Rate; 13% Reduced Rate; and 6% Reduced Rate.

  1. Which expenses can be recovered?

The range of expenses that can be recovered are extensive. They include telephone, Internet, parking, conferences, and even the cost of laundry.

This is true for companies operating out of EU states or not.

  1. What is the minimum you can claim to recover?

If you are applying for a period of less than one year but more than three months, the minimum you can apply to recover is EUR 400. If the period is for a whole calendar year or the remainder of one, the minimum is only EUR 50.

The minimum is the same for EU-based companies and non-EU companies as well.

  1. What are the time limits?

The application must be submitted by September 30th of the year following the refund period.

The claim must cover at least three consecutive months in one calendar year or the remainder of a calendar year. However, only one calendar year can be claimed.

For EU-based companies, it is possible to file a supplementary refund claim for invoices that were not covered in the original claim. Non-EU businesses cannot file a supplementary claim and must be sure to meet the deadline because late claims will not be accepted.

Why Leave VAT Money on the Table?

The dramatic growth of international business over the past decade has catapulted business travel to unprecedented levels, and trajectory keeps going upward. With so much spending abroad, the amount of VAT collected by host countries has also grown considerably. So has the amount of VAT that can be claimed for return.

Amazingly, however, more than $20 billion in returnable VAT goes unclaimed each year. That’s a jaw-dropping amount of money to leave sitting on the table – virtually all because the traditional claims process is so labor intensive that companies simply prefer to let it go.

With automation, however, the process is simplified to such a degree that it longer makes sense for companies to sacrifice money they are eligible to recover. With travel becoming a regular expense and so much effort made to reduce costs to a bare minimum, VAT returns can provide some needed relief of costs per trip.

With apps capable of completing the claim process almost instantly, it is wasteful not to take advantage of it. All you have to do is scan your receipts and expenses into the app. The process can be done in seconds. The apps do the rest, including complex elements such as international compliance.

VAT returns offer a great opportunity for raising the bottom line. Where else can you find cash for only a few seconds of work?

For more information please contact us