Our tax practice, comprised of highly experienced tax lawyers, offers the full range of tax law services. The analytical ability of our tax lawyers ensures that they are able to provide our clients with high quality, innovative and business-oriented services, as well as with practical and pro-active solutions, in the continuously changing area of tax legislation and practice.
While securing day-to-day compliance with local regulations and requirements, the primary goal of KPP Law is to assist our corporate clients in maximizing tax efficiency, both at a transactional and operational level, in respect of business activities in Greece and abroad.
Our tax team has strong experience in advising clients on the full spectrum of direct and indirect tax law issues arising from commercial and corporate transactions, including M&A (sale of business, asset and share deals, mergers, intra-group re-organizations, joint ventures etc.), financing (equity or debt), acquisition and commercial exploitation of real estate property, employees incentive plans, etc., as well as other specific tax issues, such as thin capitalization, transfer pricing etc.
We also advise Greek and foreign high net-worth individuals in properly discharging their tax liabilities in Greece, as well as in domestic and foreign property, inheritance issues and other tax law issues.
The above advisory part of our tax practice is paired with a strongly experienced tax litigation practice, since we represent and support our clients in tax audit procedures before the Tax Authorities, the Directorate for Settlement of Disputes (D.E.D.) of Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) and Administrative (tax) Courts.
- We successfully represented a leading Greek betting and gaming company before the Administrative Supreme Court (Council of State - CoS) at a model (“pilot”) tax trial, on which a landmark Decision under No. CoS 320/2020 was delivered. The legal issue brought before the CoS related to the annual tax compliance certificate granted to companies by Certified Auditors under Art. 82 (5) of Law 2238/1994 (former ITC) and its impact on the right of the Greek State to make a tax audit. The Court assessed the validity of the implementing Ministerial Decision (“MD”) Νο. 1159/2011 applying as of the fiscal years 2011-2013. Pursuant to the provisions of the MD, the Tax Authorities could carry out a tax audit following the issuance of a tax compliance certificate containing no reservation (“clear”) within a 18- month period; after the expiry of this period, the fiscal year was considered to be settled and no tax audit could take place. Exceptionally, in case that specific tax infringements were detected, a tax audit could be carried out until the completion of the 5-year statutory limitation period. The Court accepted the arguments set by the applicant company and ruled that the afore-mentioned provision of MD (settlement of tax case after a 18-month period) was a valid tax regime lying in accordance with the Greek Constitution. Also, the Court ruled that the annulment of the said provisions of the MD which took place in 2015 could not overturn the effects that had already arisen (settlement/closure of tax cases for fiscal years 2011 – 2013), due to the fact that such a development would infringe the principles of legal certainty and legitimate expectations. The Decision is favorable for all companies holding a “clear” tax compliance certificate under MD 1159/2011 for fiscal years 2011-2013 and any tax assessments pending before administrative courts for these fiscal years are expected to be annulled.
- We successfully represented a major oil company before the Court of Appeal of Athens on a EUR 7,5 mio tax dispute, claiming the incompatibility of laws extending the statute of limitations with Greek Constitution and EU Law. The Court accepted our appeal and the said decision (Decision under No 628/2014) was the forerunner of landmark decision of the Supreme Court (Council of State (CoS) 1738/2017, which confirmed the legal position that the statutory limitation period for the State to issue tax assessment notes may not exceed a 5-year period and may, exceptionally, be extended under certain circumstances in light of strict constitutional limitations.
- We successfully represented a high-net-worth individual in a EUR 1 mio tax dispute before the Administrative Supreme Court (CoS 732/2019 - Council of State) at a model (pilot) tax trial concerning the limitation period of the Greek State to impose taxes, and, in particular, the duration of the limitation period in the event of late tax return filing. The administrative guidance and State Legal Council opinions, applicable until the case in question was adjudicated, provided that an extended 15-year limitation period applied to all late tax returns filed after the expiry of the ordinary (standard) 5-year limitation period. The CoS ruled (CoS 732/2019), that, in the event of a late tax return submitted till the expiry of the 5-year limitation period, the regular 5- year limitation period remains applicable; further, late tax returns submitted after the regular 5-year limitation period, are subject to a shorter 3-year limitation period, commencing from the end of the year of submission and not exceeding (in any case) 15 years.
- We successfully represented a high-net-worth individual before the Administrative Supreme Court (Council of State, major 7-member composition, Decision No CoS 2691/2019) in course of an appeal brought by the Greek State against a Decision of the Athens Court of Appeal in favor of our client. The CoS rejected the appeal and accepted our arguments concerning the application of the principle of retroactive application of the more lenient law in the domain of tax penalties. In particular, the case related to tax penalties imposed for inaccurate invoicing under the provisions of Law 2523/1997, amounting to 100% of the non-declared transaction values. The Court of Appeal accepted the application that had been filed by our client and reduced the penalties from 100% to 25% of the non-declared transaction values, pursuant to the more favorable provisions of previous Law 4337/2015 (art. 7). Also, the Court of Appeal ruled that the provision of art. 7 (4) of Law 4337/2015, pursuant to which the more favorable penalty regime can only apply under the condition that the taxpayer waives the right to apply for the annulment of penalties before the competent courts, is invalid and infringes proportionality principle. The Council of State validated the afore-mentioned rulings and rejected the State’s appeal, also judging that the principle of retroactive application of the more favorable tax penalty is applicable under art. 7 of ECHR. Further, the CoS ruled that the provisions of art. 7 (4) of Law 4337/2015 which restrict/exclude the application of retroactive application of the more favorable penalty (requiring a waiver of the right to judicial protection) are against art. 6 of ECHR.
- We successfully represented a major company operating in betting and gaming sector before the Court of Appeal and Council of State (Decision No of Court of Appeal No 3948/2015, CoS No 1364/2017); the Courts overturned the position previously held by case law that an amending tax return is valid only if submitted until the issuance of a tax audit mandate and ruled that amendments of tax returns may validly take place until the notification of the mandate to the taxpayer.
- We successfully represented before the Court of Appeal a major football Societe Anonyme at a capital concentration tax (CCT) dispute of EUR 0,85 m (Decision No 2860/2018). A 1% CCT was imposed on the increase of share capital, as decided by the General Meetings of Shareholders, though not fully paid by the shareholders. The Court annulled the tax assessment acts ruling that the CCT tax event is the decision of the Board of Directors certifying the payment of the capital increase and not the decision of the General Meeting resolving upon the increase, and consequently, CCT is payable on the amounts of capital actually paid by the shareholders.
- We successfully represented before the Court of Appeal a Greek member-company of major automobile multinational group at a stamp duty tax dispute of EUR 2 mio (Decision No 4661/2018). Stamp duty was imposed on running account loans in the context of a cash pooling agreement signed abroad between the group members. The Court annulled the challenged tax assessment acts on the basis that the cash pooling agreement was not only signed and contractually executable abroad, but also, was indeed executed abroad (outside Greece) and consequently, there were no executable obligations nor execution within Greek territory in order for stamp duty to be due.
- We successfully represented a leading insurance company on a EUR 12 mio tax dispute, relating to refund of unduly paid withholding prepaid income tax, on specially taxed income arising from Treasury Bills, Greek Government Bonds, non-listed shares etc (Decisions No 1227/2017, 1257/2017, 1266/2017, 1233/2017, 1256/2017 και 1235/2017).
- We successfully represented a major cosmetics company before the Court of Appeal, claiming a full retroactive application of more favorable surcharges imposed on main tax under L.3943/2011 (monthly surcharge 2% with a ceiling up to 120%), instead of the surcharges imposed till then under L.2523/97 (monthly surcharge 2% with a ceiling up to 300%). The Court accepted our arguments, judged that the most favorable regime shall be applied retroactively irrespective of whether the alleged infringement under examination, was carried out prior to the publication of law 3943/2011in all respects (i.e. , and ruled that a limited retroactivity (as provided by the relevant statutory provisions) breaches EU principles and EUCJ case law.
- We successfully represented a high net-worth individual before the Court of Appeal of Athens (Decision No 4489/2017), claiming for retroactive application of more favorable penalties imposed on main tax under the new Code of Tax Procedure (10-50% of main tax), instead of the surcharges imposed under L.2523/97 (monthly surcharge 2% with a ceiling up to 120%). The Court accepted the arguments based on EUCJ case law and the rationale of this decision has already been endorsed by the Greek State in recent tax legislative work.
- We successfully represented a major tobacco company before the Administrative Court of Komotini (Decision No 22/2018) in suspending the collection of a EUR 44 mio customs duties, fines, surcharges etc enforced by the State.