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30 July 2020

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Greece Issues Guidance on Tax Residence and Permanent Establishment During COVID-19 Pandemic

On 28 July 2020, the Greek Public Revenue Authority (AADE) published Circular E. 2113 of 22 July 2020, which provides guidance on the application of tax residence and permanent establishment rules under Greek tax law and tax treaties during the COVID-19 pandemic. In general, this includes guidance in line with the guidance issued by the OECD in April 2020 providing recommendations on implications of the COVID-19 crisis on cross-border workers and other related cross-border matters.

In particular, Circular E. 2113 provides that the period from 18 March to 15 June 2020 will not be taken into account in determining individual or corporate tax residence or the existence of a permanent establishment (in some cases) where conditions depend on physical presence and the conducting of activities/management (or not) in Greece. This is due to travel restrictions imposed during that period and may be extended depending on restrictions imposed in other relevant countries. However, this generally does not apply where there would normally be a physical presence or conducting of activities/management in Greece regardless of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Specific guidance is also provided with respect to construction/installation permanent establishments. This includes that where a project has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, the period of suspension may still be taken into account in determining the existence of the establishment.

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