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Greece

Accounts

Updated 12/2011

Legal requirements

In accordance with Greek legislation, bookkeeping is obligatory for every natural and legal person that owns a business in Greece. A trader is listed in a bookkeeping category according to the object of the work, the legal form, and gross income for the previous financial year.

The rights and obligations of traders (active in any kind of business or profession within the Greek territory), with regard to bookkeeping, publishing information and meeting tax obligations, are determined by the Code of Books and Records.

There are a few exceptions from the obligation to keep books and information. These are clearly indicated in the Code.

Accounting rules

Double-entry

Books are kept in accordance with the double-entrymethod (the obligations appears through the issuance of the supplier or other party relevant document). Based on this method, two separate registrations are carried out: one upon receipt of the document and one upon payment.

There are two different types of account books:

  • Category B: kept by most small and medium-sized companies
  • Category C: kept by public limited companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, and limited liability companies.

Companies listed in category C books also have to keep a fixed asset register.

In addition, public limited companies keep a book of shareholders' general meeting minutes, a book of management board meetings and a register of shareholders.

Limited liability companies keep a book of meeting minutes and a book of management minutes.

Bookkeeping

There are three categories:

  • Purchase book
  • Income - Expenses book
  •  Under the double-entry method, with any accounting system in accordance with the generally accepted accounting principles.

Auditing

A Tax audit includes a series of control measures implemented by the relevant tax offices and may be classified as either Provisional, Regular or Special. It includes verification of the audit deemed necessary by the audit agents to determine the veracity of the books.

Invoicing

An invoice is issued upon delivery or at the start of the shipment of goods to the recipient, as appropriate.  An exception to the above would be the case where a dispatch note has been issued for the transfer. In this case, the invoice should be issued no later than a month after delivery or shipment of goods to the purchaser, and during the corresponding management period of the parties involved.

Inventory

Provisions relating to the inventory are included in the relevant circular issued by the Ministry of Finance.

 

Administrative procedures

Bookkeeping

Account books must be approved by the relevant tax office, except in the case of public liability companies registered with a tax office for industrial corporations.

Annual accounts

Procedures relating to annual accounts are specified by the law, in accordance with the appropriate procedures in force within the European Union.

Storage and submission of documents

A relevant circular has introduced the requirement to submit summary statements, for transactions carried out from 1.1.2005 onwards, with the exclusive use of electronic means of communication through the Internet (TAXISnet).

Auditing, disclosure and publication

The relevant regulations relating to monitoring, disclosure and publication are envisaged under the Books and Information Code.

  • Books and Information Code

Act 3842/2010 also resulted in amendments to the Books and Information Code, in order to harmonise it with articles 19 and 20:

Invoicing

The sale of goods for own account or on behalf of a third parry or for the right to import and the provision of services from one trader to another, for the exercise of their profession or the achievement of their objectives, as appropriate, as well as for the sale of goods or the provision of services outside the country in which an invoice is issued.

With respect to wholesalesales of goods and services, repeated either on a daily basis or less often during the course of a month, to traders, traders may themselves keep a per purchaser-client statement.

The trader should also issue an invoice when receiving grants, financial aid, compensation, indirect tax returns, duties, fees, interests, contributions, and other forms of non-operating income.  For the obligation to issue an invoice, crediting the account of the beneficiary is also considered as collection, if he/she has received written notice of the credit.

Finally, the trader is to issue an invoice for goods purchased or services received by persons who either refuse to issue an invoice, issue an inaccurate invoice or have no obligation to issue invoices during the sale of goods.

Resources

The Pan-Hellenic Association of Tax Consultants and the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Freelance Tax Consultants keep a list of all registered Tax Consultants-Accountants (freelancers).

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Greek Chamber of Handicrafts and the Athens Chamber of Industry and Commerce have made arrangements for delegated tax consultants to be at the disposal of the public. The services of the two Chambers are provided free of charge.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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