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Greece: Platform for vouchers ready

The government is waiting for the European Commission’s approval to launch the online platform for its program of fixed expenditure subsidies.

Finance Ministry sources say that the nod from the European authorities is expected by the end of the week, with the tax administration immediately crediting each rightful recipient the amount due. This, however, will not be in cash but in vouchers for the payment of taxes and social security contributions.

Once the platform is up and running, companies and professionals qualifying for the coverage of their standard spending will be asked by the online system about the amount they wish to get credit for toward contributions and tax payments. For instance, if a company is entitled to 100,000 euros of covered expenses, it may choose to receive a voucher for €30,000 toward its social security fund in July-December 2021, and the rest for the payment of value-added tax, income tax and Single Property Tax (ENFIA) in the same period. The maximum amount to be credited comes to €15 million.

The subsidy may reach up to 70% or even 80% of the standard spending pandemic-hit businesses made in 2020, provided the Finance Ministry has considered them eligible for the program after the submission of their application and the E3 tax form on the myBusinessSupport platform.

Ministry data show that out of the approximately 74,000 applications submitted, some 30,000 professionals and corporations stands to collect subsidy vouchers, as the rest were found to have either recorded profits last year or a loss in turnover that was less than 30% compared to 2019. Many applications were also rejected as they came from businesses that received subsidies and support from other state programs that more than covered their expenditures last year, as well from corporations that did not belong to the sectors damaged by the pandemic.

Among the eligible recipients are 10,000 food service enterprises, 3,300 from the tourism sector and 1,000 from retail commerce.