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Greece Corporate - Withholding taxes

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WHT rates are as follows:

Type of income WHT rate (%)
Dividends 10
Interest 15
Royalties and other payments 20
Fees for technical projects, management fees, and consultancy and other related services 20
By exception, fees received by contractors of every kind of technical projects and lessors of public, municipal, association, or port proceeds 3% on the value of the project under construction or lease payment

Legal entities tax resident in Greece are not subject to WHT in relation to royalties, fees received for the provision of consultancy and other related services, and management fees, unless provided to general government bodies.

Legal entities that are not tax resident in Greece and do not maintain a PE in Greece are not subject to Greek WHT in relation to technical services, consultancy services, or other related services and management fees.

By virtue of the provisions of the Ministerial Circular 1007/2017, it is clarified that the fees for technical services, management fees, fees for consulting services, and the remuneration for similar services received by an EU legal entity through its PE in Greece are not subject to WHT.

The above exemption does not include the fees received by EU legal entities from the services provided to the general government bodies, as well as the fees for technical services received by the EU legal entities.

Conversely, non-EU foreign legal entities that maintain a PE in Greece are subject to Greek WHT in relation to the provision of the aforementioned services.

Legal entities that are tax resident in Greece or foreign legal entities that maintain a PE in Greece are not subject to WHT in relation to royalty payments.

The exemption from the obligation of WHT for payments of dividends, interest, and royalties by a Greek subsidiary to its parent company includes payments of dividends, interest, and royalties to Greek parent companies.

For the exemption from dividend WHT, the following conditions apply:

  • The receiving legal entity should own shares, parts, or a participation of at least 10%, on the basis of the value or number, in the share capital, right to profits, or voting rights of the distributing taxpayer.
  • The minimum holding percentage of shares or parts or participations should be held for at least 24 months (subject to providing a bank guarantee, in which case the exemption may apply prior to completing the 24-month holding period).
  • The receiving legal entity should be:
    • included in the forms enumerated in Annex I Part A of Directive 2011/96/EU, as in force
    • tax resident in an EU member state according to the legislation of such state and not be considered as tax resident in a third country in application of the terms of the DTT concluded with such third country, and
    • subject, without the option or exemption, to one of the taxes mentioned in Annex I Part B of Directive 2011/96/EU, or to any other tax that may in the future replace one of those taxes.

A general anti-abuse rule is applicable by virtue of which the tax exemption in case of collection and payment of dividends is alleviated in case it is considered that a ‘non-genuine arrangement’ exists. A ‘non-genuine arrangement’ is an arrangement that has not been put into place for valid commercial reasons reflecting the economic reality.

For the exemption from WHT for interest and royalty payments, the following conditions apply:

  • The receiving legal entity should directly own shares, parts, or a participation of at least 25%, on the basis of the value or number, in the share capital, right to profits, or voting rights of the paying taxpayer; the paying taxpayer directly owns shares, parts, or a participation of at least 25% in the share capital of the receiving entity; or a third legal entity directly owns shares, parts, or a participation of at least 25% in the share capital of the receiving entity and the paying legal entity.
  • The minimum holding percentage of shares or parts or participations should be held for at least 24 months (subject to providing a bank guarantee, in which case the exemption may apply prior to completing the 24-month holding period).
  • The receiving legal entity should be:
    • included in the forms enumerated in Annex I Part A of Directive 2003/49/EU, as in force
    • tax resident in an EU member state according to the legislation of such state and not be considered as tax resident in a third country in application of the terms of the DTT concluded with such third country, and
    • subject, without the option or exemption, to one of the taxes mentioned in Annex I Part B of Directive 2003/49/EU, or to any other tax that may in the future replace one of those taxes.

Payments of interest of bank loans, including default interest, as well as interest of intra-bank deposits, are exempt from WHT.

Interest received from Greek government bonds and treasury bills by legal entities that are not tax resident in Greece and that do not maintain a PE in Greece are not subject to WHT.

The following table provides a summary of the WHTs applicable under the respective DTTs entered into by Greece:

Recipient WHT (%)
Dividends Interest Royalties
Resident individuals and companies 10 15 20
Non-resident individuals and companies:      
Non-treaty 10 15 20 (1)
Treaty:      
Albania 5 5 5
Armenia 10 10 5
Austria (3) 5/15 (4) 8 7
Azerbaijan 8 8 8
Belgium 5/15 (7) 5/10 (6) 5
Bosnia and Herzegovina 5/15 (2) 10 10
Bulgaria 10 10 10
Canada 5/15 (7) 10 0/10 (13)
China 5/10 (2) 10 10
Croatia 5/10 (2) 10 10
Cyprus 25 10 0/5 (5)
Czech Republic Domestic 10 10
Denmark 38 8 5
Egypt 10 15 15
Estonia 5/15 (2) 10 5/10 (11)
Finland 47 10 0/10 (9)
France Domestic 10 5
Georgia 8 8 5
Germany 25 10 0
Hungary 45 10 10
Iceland 5/15 (2) 8 10
India Domestic Domestic Domestic
Ireland 5/15 (7) 5 5
Israel Domestic 10 10
Italy 15 10 0/5 (9)
Korea, Republic of 5/15 (2) 8 10
Kuwait 5 5 15
Latvia 5/10 (2) 10 5/10 (11)
Lithuania 5/15 (2) 10 5/10 (11)
Luxembourg 38 8 5/7 (8)
Malta 5/10 (2) 8 8
Mexico 10 10 10
Moldova 5/15 (2) 10 8
Morocco 5/10 (2) 10 10
Netherlands 35 8/10 (12) 5/7 (8)
Norway 40 10 10
Poland Domestic 10 10
Portugal 15 15 10
Qatar 5 5 5
Romania 45 10 5/7 (8)
Russia 5/10 (2) 7 7
San Marino 5/10 (2) 10 5
Saudi Arabia 5 5 10
Serbia 5/15 (2) 10 10
Slovakia Domestic 10 10
Slovenia 10 10 10
South Africa 5/15 (2) 8 5/7 (8)
Spain 5/10 (2) 8 6
Sweden Domestic 10 5
Switzerland 5/15 (2) 7 5
Tunisia 35 15 12
Turkey 15 12 10
Ukraine 5/10 (2) 10 10
United Arab Emirates 5 5 10
United Kingdom Domestic 0 0
United States Domestic 0/Domestic (10) 0
Uzbekistan 8 10 8

Notes

  1. The non-resident legal person, legal entity, or individual pursuing business activity may elect to be taxed on income from royalties and fees for technical services, administration fees, and fees for consulting or similar services in accordance with the rules applicable to tax residents who receive such fees and then credit the WHT against the income tax due.
  2. The rate of 5% applies in case the beneficiary is a company (excluding a partnership) and directly holds at least 25% of the capital of the paying company.
  3. It should be taken into account that such rates are based on the DTT applicable as of 1 January 2011, whilst other rates have been applicable in the past.
  4. The rate of 5% will apply if the beneficial owner is a company that directly holds at least 25% of the voting power of the company paying the dividends.
  5. The rate of 5% is applicable only for the right to use cinematograph films.
  6. Rate of 5% applies to loans not incorporated into negotiable instruments and granted by banks.
  7. A rate of 5% is applicable to shareholders of 25% and above.
  8. The rate of 5% applies if the royalties consist of payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of or the right to use any copyright of literary, artistic, or scientific work, including cinematograph films.
  9. Exemption ('0' rate) applies to payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of, or the right to use, any copyright of literary, artistic, or scientific work, including cinematograph films and films or tapes for television or radio broadcasting.
  10. Interest (on bonds, securities, notes, debentures, or on any other form of indebtedness) received from sources within Greece by a resident or corporation of the United States (US) not engaged in trade or business in Greece through a PE therein, shall be exempt from Greek tax but only to the extent that such interest does not exceed 9% per annum; but such exemption shall not apply to such interest paid by a Greek corporation to a US corporation controlling, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the entire voting power in the paying corporation.
  11. The 5% rate is applicable if the royalties consist of payments of any kind received as a consideration for the use of industrial, commercial, or scientific equipment, and the 10% rate is applicable for all the other cases.
  12. The 8% rate is applicable when the beneficiary of the interests is a bank or a financial institution, 10% rate is applicable for all the other cases.
  13. Exemption ('0' rate) applies to copyright royalties and other like payments in respect of the production or reproduction of any cultural or artistic work (but not including royalties in respect of motion picture films nor royalties in respect of works on films or videotapes or other means of reproduction for use in connection with television broadcasting).

In general, it should be noted that certain DTTs may include specific clauses in specific cases that are not all captured in the table; therefore, a careful review of each DTT is highly advisable.


Last Reviewed - 28 June 2019

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