No extension is expected to be given to companies and the self-employed regarding the mandatory acceptance of payment cards, according to well-informed sources of the Ministry of Finance who spoke to “P”. In fact, the same sources stated that next week inspections by officials of the Tax Department are expected to begin, with the fine reaching up to 2,000 euros.
The legislation that was passed by the Parliament about thirteen months ago aims to combat tax evasion and for this purpose the Council of Ministers with a decree dated 16 June 2021 had set a compliance timetable. It is recalled that the decree will enter into force on September 18, 2021.
According to the decree of the Council of Ministers, all companies are obliged to comply within three months from the date of publication of the decree, so that they can accept card payments. Excludes companies active in manufacturing, electricity, water, transportation, and information and communication (publishing, film production, broadcasting, computer programming).
In addition, the decree referred to start-ups. In particular, it was stated that start-ups, during the last thirty days before the expiry of the three-month period, must comply within four months of the publication of the decree. In addition, for those companies that will start a business or a relevant change after the expiration of the three-month period, they must comply within one month from the start or change of their activities.
However, despite the fact that there are few days left for the implementation of the decree, the very small companies are unprepared to implement what the decree states, as the secretary general told “P”. of POVEK, Stefanou Koursari. POVEK has already sent a relevant letter to the Minister of Finance Konstantinos Petridis for a meeting on the issue, without having received any response.
POVEK in its letter makes special reference to the fact that the sales of specific products and services by very small companies of various professional sectors such as kiosks – newspapers, cigarettes, milk, prepaid phones have a negligible profit margin for sellers. “With the obligatory acceptance of card payments for these products, the small profit is converted into a loss,” the organization claims in its letter.
At the same time, POVEK is particularly concerned about the cost of equipment and the amount of charges they will have to pay to the companies providing these services, which are an “oligopoly regime”, according to the organization's letter to the minister in charge.
Finally, regarding larger companies, a source from the Ministry of Finance indicated in our newspaper that there were meetings with representatives of CCCI and OEB and apart from some clarifications given to the representatives of business organizations, there is no problem regarding the readiness of these companies to accept electronic payments.
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