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Scandal: Greece scraps Property Tax (ENFIA) deduction for the poor

A Greek taxpayer no longer needs an accountant or a kind of consultant to tell him how to deal with the family income. The Greek Finance Ministry has appointed itself to this role. And it rules that when you have an income plus you must directly give it to the state. Because in its accountant mentality and its commitment to the lenders the Finance ministry can only  adds revenues and if the sum is not the desired one, it can relocate your revenues to its pockets.

And so it does with the collection of  Property Tax (ENFIA) , the extra austerity tax that was supposed to be “temporary” but turned “permanent” and “flexible” although the square meters of your forest cabin remain the same.

This year’s ENFIA calculation has been directly connected to the state revenues from the tax declarations -incomes 0f 2015- . Seeing that about 900,000 tax declarations have not been submitted by middle of July, the Finance Ministry ruled that it will make ends meet through the ENFIA collection.

In the traditional neo-liberal practice of “stripping the poor and defenseless”, the Ministry ruled to scrap the ENFIA deductions for the poor and the vulnerable. And invented a new scheme of ‘income criteria’ based on bank accounts screening.

ENFIA deduction of 50% for property owners with €9,000 annual income and property 85sqm for single, up to 150sqm for families, will be scrapped if the former beneficiary has more than €38,000 in the bank.

ENFIA deduction of 1oo% for low-income families with more than 3 kids or low-income property owners with disability more than 80% will be scrapped if the former beneficiaries have more than 75,000 in the bank.

In real world language:

an unemployed couple with a 120sqm apartment in an average suburb of Athens that used to pay €300 ENFIA due to deduction, this year it will pay €600. Why? Because, the Finance Ministry calculated with the usual algorithms the interest rate these two people receive from 38,000-euro deposit in the bank and decided it that double the profit form the interest rate belong to the Ministry.

annual interest rate 0.50 x 38,000 = 190 euro – 15% tax = €28.5

net profit: €161.-

Of course, in a country ruled by the bailout agreements, no Ministry or lender would spend a quarter of a single thought on how long-time unemployed come along without any aid from the welfare.

At least the Finance Ministry was fare enough to calculate the current interest rates at 0.50% and not at some higher interests of older times. As it does with the commercial and objective values of properties, when it comes to calculate the Property Tax. Values that do not correspond to reality.

This scandalous change takes place at the same time, the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Greece try to convince Greeks to take bags of money under the mattress and return it to the bank. With such practices of bank accounts screening and extra taxes? I don’t think they will ever manage to convince anyone. It will rather backfire: by withdrawing €1,680 per month. property owners can easily -even if slowly – reduce their more than 38,000-euro in deposits. And generously defy the interest of 15 euro per month before taxes.

Important notice especially for foreigners owing a summer house in Greece: The Finance Ministry has also scrapped the 20% deduction for properties without electricity.

A reminder for those who do not know: the poor, the unemployed, the vulnerable do not need to have an income to be taxed. Since the first bailout in 2010, the scheme of  “deemed income” is in operation and according to it, one person that breaths the famous Greek austerity air needs €3,000 per year. If this person owes also an apartment, he needs another €3,000 to maintain it. In zero time, the zero-income taxpayer has a deemed income of €6,000 per year.

PS If you ask me, this scrapping of 50% deduction is a scandal. But nobody asks me….

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  1. Why a scandal? It would have been scandalous if no one had expected this to happen and it had come out of the blue. As it is, this decision is simply one more in a long list of decisions to strip the country and its citizens bare of assets. It isn’t a scandal. It’s simply the latest chapter in the Chronicle of the Death of a Country Foretold. And more chapters are being written as we speak…

    • Let us not forget the purpose/mission of the troika and its Nazi leaders: to acquire the land empty (eliminate the population) and for free (strip all assets for nothing). Well done SYRIZA New Right, you are worthy of your fees.

  2. keeptalkinggreece

    what is this?

  3. I agree with Tintin. I’m upset about it, and it is a scandal, but it is also the norm these days. I’m just waiting for them to tax anyone with more than three pairs of underwear….and for the cost of the soap to wash them. When you can tax imaginary things the sky is the limit. and i wouldn’t joke about a breathing tax. lol

    • keeptalkinggreece

      we do have breathing tax, 10%

      • lol Moving back in a couple months, might bring an unpacked suitcase with me full of “tax free” air and have a “take a breath for free” party. Or do we have to declare air at customs?