Clearing out old papers

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GlennB
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: Arkadia, Peloponnese

Clearing out old papers

Postby GlennB » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:14 pm

Before we'd even moved in here a local Brit friend warned us to keep every official piece of paper that came our way - "You never know when some idiot bureaucrat might ask for it"

Now we're clearing junk prior to moving and I've come across fat envelopes full of collections of retail receipts that we submitted with our yearly E1 income tax application. 11 years worth.

Dare I chuck them? 8)

bobscott
Posts: 2637
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: Clearing out old papers

Postby bobscott » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:27 pm

GlennB wrote:Before we'd even moved in here a local Brit friend warned us to keep every official piece of paper that came our way - "You never know when some idiot bureaucrat might ask for it"

Now we're clearing junk prior to moving and I've come across fat envelopes full of collections of retail receipts that we submitted with our yearly E1 income tax application. 11 years worth.

Dare I chuck them? 8)


I believe technically that receipts and the like should be kept for 7 years. I reckon you could chuck those that are older than that. I offloaded mine on the accountant each year!! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
Posts: 11513
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Clearing out old papers

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:49 pm

I would ask your accountant. There are many different rules in Greek tax law each with their own time schedules and I am not sure what rule applies to receipts for individual spending. I think my local supermarket owner told me that he has to keep records going back 21 years. The tax authority can audit his records going back 7 years but they could audit his supplier going back 7 years before that and the originator of the goods a further 7 years. Since, when they audit, they want to cross check all the transactions in a chain they could ask him for receipts going back 21 years. Obviously we keep individual receipts for a different reason.

I only handed them over to my accountant when he asked for them because I was undergoing a tax audit. Otherwise I kept them myself but told my accountant each year how much they added up to. He tended to put a figure on the tax return that was less than that total but more than the minimum required in order for me to qualify for the tax rebate. His argument was that putting a figure close to the minimum would cause suspicion but if they did do an audit there would always be some receipts that they would reject.

Warwick

evansmr1
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Pirgos, Kalo Horio,

Re: Clearing out old papers

Postby evansmr1 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:48 am

In the almost 11 years that I have lived here I have never kept any receipt unless it was required for a warranty, TV etc. My Accountant never once asked for them.

Now there is no need to keep them, announced last year by the Government. What you are expected to do is to make at least 30% of your declared income purchases by Debit/Credit Card.. I am not certain how this will be monitored.

Destroy old receipts, I very much doubt that they can be read and stop keeping them.
Mike
=============
Sic parvis magnaike

Kilkis
Posts: 11513
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Clearing out old papers

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:33 pm

It largely depends if you are tax resident or not.

It is "sort of true" that receipts are no longer needed. If you are tax resident you may be entitled to a rebate on your assessed tax, used in Greece instead of a tax free allowance, depending on your income level. Receipts were used to determine if you qualified for that tax rebate. You did not actually submit them to the tax office but you did need to declare on your tax return the total value of the receipts you had collected that year. That amount would be compared with your total income and if you had collected sufficient receipts you would be entitled to the full refund. The exact value of the refund depended on your income. For large incomes the refund reduces.

As Evansmr1 says, a few years ago the system changed so that qualification for a full rebate would be determined by the amount you spent electronically, i.e. with cards or bank transfers, standing orders and direct debits. If you are over a certain age, I think it might be 70 but don't quote me, you can still opt to use receipts if you want to. Personally I now rely on electronic payments to qualify for the rebate.

The reason I wrote "sort of true" is because of tax audits. I have had to undergo 3 tax audits in the last ten years. Each time I underwent a tax audit I had to submit the actual receipts collected for the years being audited. Exactly how many years the tax office decides to audit depends on the reason for the audit. In my case they only ever audited one year so I had to submit receipts for that year. The tax office can, if they wish, go back over a number of years; I think it is seven but I am not certain. Since going back seven years from today would include years before the new system came into effect it is possible that somebody could be asked for receipts from those years. That is why I recommended keeping them at least for now.

If you are not tax resident I am not sure if there has ever been a need to keep receipts? Even if you had some Greek income and that was assessed for tax in Greece you do not qualify for the rebate if you are not tax resident so I am not sure what purpose the receipts would serve. Non tax resident ex-pats tended to be allocated an assumed income based on things they own, like a house, a car, a swimming pool etc. They were then expected to produce pink slips to prove that they had brought at least the assumed income into the country. I am not sure if that requirement continues.

Electronic spending is monitored by the financial institutions carrying out the transactions, e.g. banks, credit card companies etc, and they inform the tax authority automatically how much you have spent in that way. On Alpha bank online banking I can see the accumulated amount and also, if I specify my income, I can see what percentage of the requirement I have achieved so far. That latter part doesn't really work for me because I use two accounts with completely unrelated banks so I need to combine the electronic spending from both.

Warwick


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