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Self-employed in Greece to be taxed according to presumed income

Greece’s government announced on Tuesday that as of this year self-employed professionals will be presumed to earn a minimum of 10,920 euros per year and will be taxed accordingly through their tax return declarations submitted in 2024.

The unprecedented decision coming two months before taxation year 2023 expires follows statements by several government officials that 7 in 10 self-employed declare to tax office that they earn less than their employees.

According to the government calculations, the deemed income is the result of the minimum wage at 780 euros per month multiplied to 14 months, that is:

780 x 14 = 10,920

The grave mistake of the government to start with is that an employee receives 14 salaries per year incl 1/2 salary as Christmas and Easter bonus plus one salary for vacations. However, self-employed and freelances do not receive these extra 2 months wages by nobody.

With the taxation changes on deemed income, around 473,000 professionals who currently declare very low incomes will each pay an average of €1,444 in taxes.

According to ministry data, the taxable income is expected to increase from €7.78 billion today to €13.35 billion, which means that an additional €5.567 billion will be declared.

According to finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, this is a fair system of taxation of the self-employed in the spirit of corresponding regulations that apply in advanced EU countries

“The new system has as its reference point the minimum salary, considering that a self-employed person cannot have an income lower than an employee paid the minimum wage, while providing for a more favorable status for young professionals for the first five years of their activity, the disabled and inhabitants of small islands and settlements.”

He added “we estimate we will have a significant disclosure of tax evasion, which will lead to a significant increase in the state’s revenues from the taxation of the self-employed, by €874 million, while the final amount after the abolition of the fee [for practicing a profession] will be €606 million.”

It is noted that with the new system the welfare allowances received by professionals will be reduced by €100 million.

The 600-euro annual fee for practicing a profession will be reduced for those who declare taxable incomes that are 50% above the presumptive income, while for all the rest the reduction will be at 25%, Hatzidakis heralded.

The Minister added that the presumed income of the self-employed will vary depending on their years of activity.

This mean for example that a self-employed with over 3 decades in business will have to declare minimum annual income of 14,000 euros and pay taxes between 1450 and 1650 euros incl the fee.

Ιt should be recalled that before the elections in 2023, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had announced he would abolish the 600-euro fee as well as taxation based on deemed income for employees, pensioners, unemployed etc that has been imposed since 2012 as one of the lenders’ conditions for the bailout.

PS with this spectacularly amazing and clever tax decision, a private doctor or a lawyer who often do not issue receipts to their clients can declare the minimum ‘deemed income’ and be taxed accordingly?

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3 comments

  1. so we move even further into totally arbitrary taxation. Most self-employed people i know certainly do make less than these ‘minimums’ simply because there’s not always work or business to be had, and even when you do get a customer, they hardly have much money either and either wrangle a lower fee or don’t pay at all even if you did the work. if it’s a small mom&pop shop, profit margins are razor thin anymore. They speak of self-employed people who have employees… in reality the majority are small time tradesmen or small family shops with no employees at all. of course most of these people still have some _assets_ that the parasites are desperate to get their claws on- especially the land and houses they still own and live in- and ginning up any kind of ‘debts’ to the tax office is the sure way to bankrupt those folks and take their remaining property.
    but certainly for the few self-employed who _do_ actually make decent money – basically doctors and lawyers – as ktg points out, why should they report or pay anything above the minimum now?

  2. You have to remember that a large percentage of those in government were lawyers or doctors. They have no vested interest in making those professions pay a realistic level of tax. Virtually nobody in government will have run a small family shop or been an electrician or plumber so those professions are fair game.

    Any tax system that is based on assumptions will always penalise some and benefit others.