New fields in income tax returns of 2015

Incomes generated in 2014 are going to be taxed in accordance with new Income Tax Code - ITC (Law 4172/2013), effective since 01/01/2014. The new tax framework brings significant changes regarding the taxation of payroll and profit income, dividends, capital gains, interests etc.

Therefore, our team drafted a short article in order to cite the new fields expected to be included in tax return form.

Interests generated by foreign sources

Firstly, interests constitute every income which is generated by deposits, government and corporate bonds. A Greek tax resident should fill in his tax return all interest income from abroad, according to art. 37 of ITC and Circular 1042/2015. More specifically:

-          If the payment is executed via a Greek bank, the Greek credit institution is responsible to withhold and pay the corresponding tax to the competent authorities. The taxpayer shall declare the amount of interest and tax deducted, without any other tax obligation.

-          In case that a Greek bank is not involved in the transaction or the interest amount remains in a foreign bank account, the taxpayer shall declare interest income and pay the tax of 15% after the clearance of his tax return.   

If interests are paid in other currency than Euro, the currency conversion is executed at the exchange rate of the day, which the payment took place.

Dividends distributed by foreign companies

Greek  tax residents shall also declare dividend income in their annual tax return, according to the provisions regarding the taxation of global income (art. 3 of ITD). The tax rate imposed on dividends distributed either by Greek or foreign companies, amounts to 10%. The tax treatment and procedures remain the same, as in the case of interests (either a Greek bank is involved or not). It is mentioned that some taxpayers have already declared and paid the tax on dividends submitting a separate declaration in their tax office. In this case, the amount of tax paid is filled in the annual tax return without further tax burden.   

Royalties

Royalties are taxed with 20% on gross income, according to art. 40 of ITC. The Greek bank which execute the payment of the royalties, shall withhold the tax due or the taxpayer shall declare the gross amount in his income tax return, as in the former cases.

However, an additional tax burden is imposed in case of freelancers or companies incorporated in activities in which royalties constitute their main revenue. For example, authors, artists or software companies are subject to the provisions of art. 15, 29 and 58 of ITC and their revenues are not taxed with the flat rate of 20%.

Submission deadlines and conclusions

As noted in the present article, the Circular 1042/2015 clarified and settled the majority of issues pending in 2014, such as the declaration and taxation of dividends, interests and royalties income.

Despite the fact that the submission of income tax returns is usually accomplished until the end of June, an extension of the deadline is expected in 2015, due to the new fields which will be included in tax return form.

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