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11.3. Refund of VAT to Non-Residents

Greece generally allows for the deduction of input VAT to offset output VAT for taxpayers registered for VAT. When input VAT exceeds output VAT in a given period it may be carried forward to offset future VAT payable, or a refund may be requested. If a refund is not made with 90 days of a request, interest should be applied.

When a supplier is neither resident in Greece nor required to register for VAT, they are generally able to claim a refund if they are a resident of an EU Member State. Refunds for residents in non-EU countries are limited.

The tax authorities have clarified that since the UK is no longer an EU Member State; the refund claims for expenses incurred in the UK during the year 2020 are required to be submitted by 31 March 2021.

Resident of an EU Member State

For residents in an EU Member State, refunds are made under the terms of EU Directive 2008/9/EC. The claim must be made by filing an application electronically in the EU Member State in which they are resident, and must include supporting documentation.

The minimum claim period is three months and the maximum is one year. The minimum claim for a period of less than a year is EUR 400, and the minimum for an annual claim is EUR 50.

The deadline for a refund claim for EU residents is 30 September of the year following the year in which the VAT was incurred.

Residents of a non-EU country

The EU 13th Directive, which provides the framework for refunds to non-EU residents, has not yet been implemented in Greece. However, VAT refunds may be granted to non-EU based businesses on condition of reciprocal treatment by the relevant non-EU country. Reciprocal treatment must be attested by a written agreement between Greece and the relevant foreign country and currently such agreements exist with Norway and Switzerland. Accordingly, resident in Norway and Switzerland are allowed to apply for VAT refunds.

Effective 6 October 2020, Greece amended the VAT refund requests procedure for taxable persons established outside of the EU. Henceforth, refund requests by taxable persons outside the EU will follow the same procedures as those for EU taxable persons, subject to the condition that the third country in which the taxable person is established provides similar VAT benefits to taxable persons established in Greece. Further, taxable persons outside the EU are required to make a refund request in the specified form.

It is also provided that rejected refund requests may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of the Tax Code.