13% VAT for all tourist services
Archive photo: Tourism Minister Theoharis and NTO President Gerekou
ATHENS. The Ministry for Tourism plans tax adjustments in order to make Greek tourist services more competitive.
This follows the strong resurgence from other Eastern Mediterranean destinations, to which the decrease in arrivals and departures in Greece this year has been attributed.
The Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis told SKAI TV channel that the VAT rate for all tourist services will be set at 13%. The adjustment will be included in the next tax legislation in order to come into effect in time for next year's tourist season.
Croatia and Greece have the highest VAT rates for tourist accommodation (13%) but in Greece other tourist services, such as catering, have a 24% rate whereas in Croatia it is 5 - 13%.
Mr. Theoharis said that 13 Regions in Greece have 80% of the total tourist traffic and income.
Meanwhile, the European Court of Justice approved the implementation of the Special VAT Scheme which will apply not only to sales of tourist services directly to tourists but also to sales to any 'customer' whether it be for resale or for direct consumption of services.
The recent decision regarding the implementation of the Special VAT Scheme vindicated 8 member states - Greece, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, France, Finland, Portugal and Spain. Until recently the European Commission insisted that the Special VAT Scheme applied only to sales of tourist services directly to the consumer.