Tax and legal measures to address the negative effects of the occurrence of COVID-19 coronavirus

A special COVID-19 webpage managed by PwC experts, which provides information on the most important tax, labour and other measures taken or announced so far as a response to COVID-19 coronavirus’ effects.

Measures adopted to address the negative effects of the occurrence of COVID-19 coronavirus

We hereby present the most important measures either formally adopted by a Legislative Act (LA) or announced by the Government to address the negative effects of the occurrence of COVID-19 coronavirus.

As a general rule, to be able to benefit from these measures, businesses are obliged to maintain the same headcount.

Last update: 31 March 2020

  Measure             Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
New Provision of a 25% discount on certified tax liabilities with payment date from 30 March 2020 to 30 April 2020, in case they are paid in due time, with the exemption of VAT and withholding taxes. (Art. 2, LA - 11.03.2020 as amended by Art. 1, LA - 30.03.2020) Only for tax liabilities paid between 30 March and 30 April 2020.                                                                                                                                                                      Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision.                                                                                                                The 25% discount applies also on installements for tax debts (including VAT and withholding taxes) under a settlement scheme.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
New VAT exemption on supply of goods and/or provision of services to the Greek State in the form of donations of any kind of hospital-specific equipment, personal protective equipment and all kinds of medicines. (Art. 8, LA - 14.03.2020 as amended by art. 10, LA - 30.03.2020) As of 14 March and until 14 November 2020. Subject to VAT suppliers, either legal persons or individuals. Suppliers have the right to deduct input VAT of these items.
  Provision of a 25% reduction on certified tax liabilities of April 2020, in case they are paid in due time. The reduction does not apply on VAT amounts due.(Government announcement) To be determined by a new decision. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision.                                                                                                                                        Especially for VAT, the 25% of the amount paid in April will be used to set off future tax liabilities. Further details will be determined by a new decision.
  Accelerated refunds of up to EUR 30,000 for income tax and VAT for all open tax audit cases, as on 20 March 2020. (Art. 3, LA - 20.03.2020 & E.2037/2020) Promptly All legal entities for income tax and VAT refunds. All individuals for VAT refunds. Open tax audit cases where no provisional tax assessment note has been issued.
  VAT reduction from 24% to 6% as of 20 March 2020 for products needed to protect against coronavirus and to prevent its transmission. (Art. 1, LA - 20.03.2020 & E.2038/2020) Until 31 December 2020. General measure. It concerns masks, gloves, antiseptic solutions, wipes, soap, and ethyl alcohol, if used as a raw material by the industry for the production of antiseptics. The exact tariff headings are set out in art. 1 of LA - 20.03.2020.
  The calculation of the Uniform Tax on Ownership of Real Estate Property will be based on the currently applicable objective values. (Government announcement) For 2020 only. General measure. The expected new objective values will come into force in 2021.
  Extension of deadlines for the payment of tax liabilities and suspension of payment of certified tax liabilities and installments, that expired or will expire between 11 March to 30 April 2020, free of interest or surcharges.(Art. 2, LA - 11.03.2020, as amended by Art.5, LA - 20.03.2020 & A.1053/2020 as amended by A.1062/2020 & A.1061/2020) By 31 August 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision and the employees of such businesses. Also, natural persons - owners who lease their estate to the above mentioned. The list of ACNs is dynamic and more ACNs may be included. Possibility of extension to other categories of natural persons under a new Ministerial Decision.
  Extension of deadlines for the payment of VAT liabilities and suspension of payment of certified VAT liabilities and installments, that expired or will expire between 11 March to 30 April 2020, free of interest or surcharges. (Art. 1, LA - 11.03.2020 & A.1054/2020 as amended by A.1063/2020) By 31 August 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. The list of ACNs is dynamic and more ACNs may be included.
  Extension of suspension of VAT payment for September and October for businesses that had transactions with “Thomas Cook Group PLC” (Art. 9, LA - 11.03.2020) Until 30 June 2020. Businesses that had transactions with “Thomas Cook Group PLC”, according to the provisions of art. 2 of Law 4638/2019. Suspension has been initially granted until 31 March 2020.
  Measure             Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
Extension of the deadline for the payment tax liabilities and installments, which are due up to 31 March 2020. (A.1060/2020) For 10 days, i.e. until 10 April 2020.                                                                                            Individuals over 70 years old or having a disability of over 80%.                                                                                        The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Suspension of payment of certified tax liabilities and installments, free of interest or surcharges.(Government announcement) For 4 months. Individuals eligible to receive the financial support of EUR 800. Further details will be determined by a new decision.
Provision of a 25% reduction on certified liabilities in case they are paid in due time. (Government announcement) To be determined by a new decision. Individuals eligible to receive the financial support of EUR 800. Further details will be determined by a new decision.
  Measure                          Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
Extension of deadlines for the submission of capital duty and stamp duty returns whose deadline expires within March and April 2020. (A.1064/2020) For 2 months respectively.                                                                                                    General measure. Stamp duties relating to withholding taxes, will be paid at the time the latter are also paid.                                                                                                                                                                                       
Extension of deadline for the submission of the environmental levy for plastic bags return pertaining to the first quarter of 2020. (A.1064/2020) Until 30 June 2020. All businesses. Initial deadline was set to expire on 30 April 2020.
Extension of deadline for the submission of lodging tax returns pertaining to records issued within February and March. (A.1064/2020) Until 29 May 2020 for records issued within February and until 30 June 2020 for those issued within March. Αll businesses in the tourism sector. Initial deadline was set to expire on 31 March and 30 April 2020 respectively.
Extension of deadline for the submission of inheritance and gambling profits tax returns, as well as for donations and parental grants tax returns in cases a notarial document is not drawn up, whose deadline expires within March and April 2020. (A.1064/2020) Until 29 May 2020. General measure.  
Extension of the deadline for the submission of lease agreements and short-term accommodation notifications. (A.1052/2020) Until 30 June 2020. General measure. It concerns the period from 1 February to 30 April 2020 for the first and to 31 May 2020 for the latter.
Extension of the deadline for the submission of a property correction statement. (Art. 10 par. 4, LA - 11.03.2020) By 30 June 2020. All persons required to submit a statement specifying the surface or use of property for the calculation of taxes, fees and levies to first degree local authorities. Initial deadline was set to expire on 31 March 2020.
Extension of the deadline for reporting of tax documents for the purposes of information cross-checking (MYF). (A.1051/2020) Until 20 June 2020. Specifically for correction of divergences, until 31 July 2020. All businesses. Initial deadline was set to expire on 31 March 2020.
  Measure  Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
Extension of the deadline for the payment of social security contributions, which are due up to 31 March 2020. (Government announcement)            For 10 days, i.e. until 10 April 2020.                                                     Freelancers, self-employed and farmers. The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Financial aid of EUR 600 in the form of a special training program for specific professionals. (Government announcement) Only for April 2020. Economists / accountants, engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers and researchers. Said beneficiries will be eligible for the EUR 800 financial support as of May, if the crisis continues.
Additional salary paid to the employees in addition to the exceptional state benefit of EUR 800. (Art. 4, LA - 29.03.20 chapter A.2) During the suspension period. Employees whose employment contract is suspended because their employer opted to suspend their employment contract. Employers may pay additional discretionary amounts, on top of the EUR 800 EUR, and in any event up to the amount of their gross remuneration. For this extra amount, a monthly payroll statement ("APD") shall be submitted and the social security contributions corresponding to that extra amount will be deducted from the state budget (which will cover the remaining contributions).
Remote working for employees whose employment contract is suspended based on their employers' decision. (Art. 4, LA - 29.03.20 chapter A.2) During the suspension period. Employees whose employment contract is suspended because their employer opted to suspend their employment contract. Businesses that are affected based on their ACN can agree with their employees, whose contract is suspended the provision of remote working only for temporary business needs. This remote working must be declared in the "ERGANI" information system prior to its commencement and is paid by the employer proportionally based on the gross salary of the specific employee.
Financial support measures. (Art. 8, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by art. 25, LA - 30.03.2020) To be determined by a new decision. Freelancers, self-employed and individual business owners. The financial support will amount to EUR 800. The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Suspension of deadlines for payment of social security contributions pertaining to February and March 2020. (Art. 8, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by art. 25, LA - 30.03.2020) The payment of said contributions will be made in 4 monthly installments starting on 1 September 2020. Freelancers, self-employed and individual business owners. The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Suspension of payment of deferred or overdue liabilities to insurance funds, whose payment due date expires between March and May 2020. (Art. 8, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by art. 25, LA - 30.03.2020) The payment of said amounts will take place after 1 June 2020. Freelancers, self-employed and individual business owners. The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Possibility for employers to pay the Easter bοnus at a later time. (Art.19, LA - 30.03.2020) Easter bonus may be paid until 30 June 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. Further details will be determined by a new decision. All other businesses need to pay the Easter bonus by 15 April 2020. In the case of employees whose contract is suspended, the amount relating to the suspension period will be covered by the State.
Provision of a 25% reduction on social security contributions pertaining to February and March 2020 in case they are paid in due time. (Art.18, LA - 30.03.2020) To be determined by a new decision. Freelancers, self-employed and individual business owners. Further details will be determined by a new decision. This measure does not apply in case said individuals opted to suspend the social security contributions payment based on the provisions of Art.8, LA - 20.03.2020.
Suspension of deadlines for payment of social security contributions pertaining to February and March 2020. (Art. 8, LA - 20.03.2020, Δ.15/Δ'/οικ. 13226/325) Social security contributions for February may be paid by 30 September 2020, while for March by 31 October 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. Further details will be determined by a new decision.
Suspension of payment of deferred or overdue liabilities to insurance funds, whose due date expires from 31 March 2020 onwards. (Δ.15/Δ'/οικ. 13226/325 & 12998/232/23-3-2020) For 3 months. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. Further details will be determined by a new decision.
Suspension of employers' obligation to declare in the "ERGANI" information system changes or modifications to working hours, as well as additional work and legal overtime. (Art. 4 par.1, LA - 11.03.2020 & 12338/Δ1.4372/2020) From 11 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. All businesses. These notifications will be submitted in the aggregate in the first 10 days of the month following the one during which the work was provided. The new E4 and E8 special purpose forms will be used until 10 April 2020.
Employers' unilateral decision in order for employees to work with the system of teleworking. (Art. 4 par.2, LA - 11.03.2020) From 11 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. All businesses. This measure may be extended by ministerial decision.
Eligibility for special purpose paid leave. (Art. 4 par.3, LA - 11.03.2020) For the period of suspension of the operation of the educational units which their children attend. All working in private sector parents of children enrolled in educational units whose operation has been suspended under a state decision (subject to specific conditions). The conditions and further details are set out in art. 4 par. 3 of LA - 11.03.2020. To declare these days of leave, the special form E11.1 needs to be filled, which may be submitted in the "ERGANI" information system from 10 to 15 April 2020.
Eligibility for special leave or part-time work without deduction from pay. (Art. 5, LA - 11.03.2020) For the period of suspension of the operation of the educational units which their children attend. All working in public sector parents of children enrolled in educational units whose operation has been suspended under a state decision (subject to specific conditions). The conditions and further details are set out in art. 5 par. 3 of LA - 11.03.2020.
Prohibition of employee dismissal with effect from 18 March 2020. (Art. 11 par.1, LA - 20.03.2020) For as long as the measures to counteract the coronavirus last. Businesses whose operation was suspended by order of a public authority. In case a dismissal takes place, it will be considered null and void.
Ability to suspend contracts of employment of part or all of the staff for a continuous period of 45 days, while prohibiting employees’ dismissal. (Art. 11 par. 2A, LA - 20.03.2020 & 13031/Δ1.4551 & 12997/231/2020 & 12998/232/23-3-2020) It can be applied until 20 April 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. The list of ACNs is dynamic and more ACNs may be included. Should a dismissal take place - regardless of whether that dismissal concerns an employee whose employment has been suspended - it will be considered null and void. The dissmissal prohibition lasts only for 45 days from the day the suspension ends.
Provision of extraordinary financial support to employees as well as full social security coverage. (Art. 11 par. 2B, LA - 20.03.2020 & 13031/Δ1.4551 & 12997/231/2020 & 12998/232/23-3-2020) For as long as their employment contract is suspended. Employees whose employment contract is suspended, either because of the prohibition on operation of a business ordered by state order or because their employer opted to suspend their employment contract, as well as employees whose employment contract has been terminated from 1 to 20 March 2020. This extraordinary financial aid can not be seized, is tax-free and can not be offset against any debt. The social security coverage will be calculated on the nominal salary of the employees.The financial support will amount to EUR 800 and covers the period from 15 March 2020 to 30 April 2020.
Extension of regular unemployment benefit, long-term unemployment benefit and unemployment allowance. (Art. 7, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by art. 24, LA - 30.03.2020) For 2 months from their expiration date. Beneficiaries for whom the relevant entitlement to benefit expired or expires by 31 March 2020.  
Employers may unilaterally designate staff as safety personnel for the operation of their business. (Art. 9, LA - 20.03.2020) Up to 20 September 2020. All businesses. Each employee may work for a minimum of 2 weeks within a reference period of 1 month, continuously or intermittently. The measure shall apply to at least 50% of staff. The employer who applies such system is required to maintain the same headcount at the time of entering such operation. In anticipation of a new Ministerial decision.
Ability of transfer staff to other companies within the same group, following a relevant intra company agreement. (Art. 10, LA - 20.03.2020) To be determined by a new decision. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. The list of ACNs is dynamic and more ACNs may be included. Group entities that are implementing such measures are required to maintain the same total headcount prior to the transfer. A new decision is expected.
Prohibition of entry into the Greek territory (Article 68, LA - 20.03.2020) It is not specified yet. Third country nationals The prohibition does not apply to the (EU) Member States’ citizens as well as citizens of Schengen Member States, including their spouses or persons with whom they have entered into a civil partnership, as well as their minor children.

Based on Art. 3, LA - 30.03.2020 and a press release published by the Ministry of Finance.

Overview of the measure
Provision of a cash advance financed by the Greek State amounting to EUR 1 billion in total. It will be provided within April via the 'taxis' information system as a tax-free amount, which will not be able to be offset or confiscated.

Who is eligible for it?

This measure is addressed to small and medium enterprises of all economic sectors employing at least 1 and a maximum of 500 employes, in order to deal with the specific issues that such enterprises face in terms of accessibility to credit.
Eligibility factors will take into account current tax data and other economic indicators, compared to those of previous periods through an automated mechanism designed by the Ministry of Finance.

How and when will the refund take place?
The advance will be refunded to the Greek State within the next 5 years, either in total or partially, depending on the viability of each enterprise. The first year is a grace period and there is no obligation to any repayment, which will take place in equal monthly installments within the remaining 4 years by applying an extremely low interest rate.

What should eligible enterprises do?
Enterprises interested in utilizing the refundable advance incentive, should register on a special online platform (named myBysinessSypport) between 2 and 10 April 2020. As a general principle, to be able to benefit from this special measure they are obliged to maintain the same job positions.

  Measure  Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
New Αn extension of 75 days will be provided for post-dated cheques at maturity. (Art.2, LA - 30.03.2020) From 30 March to 31 May 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. Also, holders of post-dated cheques for which the suspension applies, if their total value is greater than 20% of their average monthly turnover in the immediately preceding tax year. Further details, including exclusions from this provision, will be determined by a new decision. This measure does not prevent the debtor and the payee from agreeing to direct payment on the originally stated due date.
  Repayment of loan principal for performing business loans will be deferred. (announced by the Hellenic Bank Association) Until 30 September 2020. Businsses that had performing loans as at 31 December 2019. Businesses need to file a request to their banks. Interest payments will not be deferred.
  Repayment of loan principal by individuals will be deferred. (announced by the Hellenic Bank Association) For 3 months. Individuals eligible to receive the financial support of EUR 800. Banks will contact individuals eligible for this measure.
  Subsidy of the interest cost for performing loans. (Government announcement) For April, May and June 2020. Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision. Banks have already announced that repayment of loan principal for performing as at 31 December 2019 loans will be deferred until 30 September 2020. This measure may be extended for further 2 months, if deemed necessary.
  New loans through the Entrepreneurship Fund of the Hellenic Development Bank with a 100% interest rate subsidy.(Government announcement) 2 years Businesses that have been financially affected as per their Activity Code Numbers (ACN), or their operation has been suspended under a state decision.
Measure                 Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
Setting of a maximum profit margin. (Art. 21, LA 20.03.2020) Until 20 September 2020. Businesses selling products or providing services needed for the health, nutrition, transportation and security of consumers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The maximum profit margin is equal to that attained on 1 February                                                                   
Payment of 60% of the rent of real estate property used for business purposes / employees' first residence. (Art. 2, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by Art. 11, LA - 30.03.2020 & 13031/Δ1.4551) For March and April 2020. Businesses for which special and extraordinary measures have been taken to suspend or temporarily ban their operation, as well as employees of such businesses. The provision covers also cases of movable and immovable assets leased, under a finance lease. Stamp duty and VAT, where applicable, will be recalculated to the amount of the partial payment. Further details to be determined by a new decision.
Requisition, with reasonable compensation, of movable and non-movable items to combat the spread of coronavirus. (Art. 6, LA - 14.03.2020) For a period of up to 6 months.   The details necessary for the implementation of the provision will be determined by a new decision.
Temporary close down of operations of seasonal tourist accommodations. (18152/2020) From 15 March 2020 (or 23 March 2020 for those already operating) to 30 April 2020. All main and non-main seasonal tourist accommodations.  
Temporary close down of all hotel operations. (Δ1α/ΓΠ.οικ. 20035) From 23 March 2020 (or 26 March 2020 for specific cases) to 30 April 2020. All hotels. Specific exceptions apply as detailed in the decision Δ1α/ΓΠ.οικ. 20035.
Temporary close down of operations of private sector businesses. (Δ1α/ΓΠ.οικ.19024/2020 & Δ1α/ΓΠ.οικ. 21268) Initially, from 18 March 2020 to 31 March 2020. Extension provided until 11 April 2020. Among others, all retail stores. The activities covered by the temporary close down are set out in detail in decision Δ1α/ΓΠ.οικ.19024/2020. Businesses that operate via e-commerce, may continue to do so.
Ban on short selling or other similar transactions on listed shares. (17.03.2020 BoD decision of the Hellenic Capital Market Commision) From 18 March 2020 to 24 April 2020. Shares listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.
    Measure           Duration  Beneficiaries  Comments
New The operation of the "Central Ultimate Beneficial Owners Register" information system is suspended. (Art.12, LA - 30.03.2020)       Until 30 June 2020.                                                                                                                                            General measure for all legal entities.                                                                                                                                                       Deadlines for filing of information in said register are suspended accordingly.                                                                                                                                         
New Extension of the deadline for the publication of annual financial reports with a year ending on 31 December 2019. (Art. 8, LA - 30.03.2020) Until 30 June 2020. Companies with listed shares on the Athens Stock Exchange.  
  Issues regarding procedures required for the facilitation of imports and exports. (E.2033/2020) For as long as required. All importers and exporters. Almost every procedure will be facilitated electronically via the ICISnet system.
  Simplification of the process for accepting donations of all kinds of hospital equipment by the Ministry of Health. (Art. 8, LA - 14.03.2020) For a period of up to 6 months.   Equipment falling within the meaning of the donations referred to in that provision is indicatively defined in Art. 8 par. 2 of LA - 14.03.2020).
  Amendment of the process regarding the issuance of certificates and other administrative documents, as well as suspension of payment of any duties, fees etc. potentially required for their issuance. (Art. 32, LA - 20.03.2020) Until 20 September 2020. General measure. For the implementation of this measure, a joint decision by the Minister of Digital Governance and each competent Minister, is required.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  The convocation of a Meeting of Shareholders/Partners of any legal form of companies may be performed through teleconference. Same also applies to BoD meetings. (Art. 33, LA - 20.03.2020 as amended by art. 42, LA - 30.03.2020) Until 30 June 2020. General measure for all legal entities. All necessary information for the participation in the Meeting should be included in the relevant invitation. Members' signatures may be replaced by emails or other electronic means.
  Limitation or expansion of the opening hours of public authorities, up to 50%, or full restriction of supporting the public in person. (Art. 38, LA - 20.03.2020) To be determined by each decision. General measure. For the implementation of this measure, a decision by the competent Minister or of the competent administrative body, is required, which (decision) is uploaded in “DIAVGEIA” (not in the Government Gazette).
  Suspension of deadlines regarding the filing of applications/ administrative appeals before the Public Administration. (Art. 38 par. 5, LA - 20.03.2020) For 2 months, commencing from 11 March 2020. General measure. By means of a Ministerial decision, the said 2-month deadline may be shortened or expanded, but in any case, the ultimate deadline may not be extended beyond 31 December 2020).
  Issues regarding public procurement contracts (e.g. postponement of initiation of public tenders, expansion of deadlines regarding the submission of application, etc.). (Art. 60, LA - 20.03.2020) Until 20 September 2020. General measure. For the implementation of this measure, a decision by the competent Minister or body, is required.
  Possibility of execution of electronic solemn declarations and electronic proxies. (Art. 27 and 28, LA - 20.03.2020) - General measure. For the implementation of this measure, a decision by the Minister of Digital Governance is required.
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