The Greek state never ceases to baffle onlookers. The latest blunder came at the hands of the Finance Ministry tax staff, who recently sent a massive property tax bill (ENFIA) to the Hellenic Olympic Committee for the Georgios Karaiskakis football stadium and the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OAKA) and to the Olympic Bequest Committee for the Ancient Olympia Academy and the Panathinaikon Stadium.
The two committees received notice from the Finance Ministry that they owe 4.5 billion euros each for the aforementioned stadiums. At a meeting held Wednesday at the General Secretariat of Public Revenue, officials acknowledged that the charge owed to E9 property tax forms that incorrectly cited the use of the properties.
According to Greek law, state and nonprofit organizations are not liable to taxation. The Ministry of Finance issued a statement explaining the mistake. According to the Ministry, “On October 14, 2014 members of the Hellenic Olympic Committee came to the Property Tax Office and received instructions on how to declare correctly the properties… so that they get tax exemption.”
The statement continues: “The ENFIA calculation is based on data declared on the E9 tax form…. state and nonprofit organizations are exempt from property tax if the properties are used for cultural, religious, athletic and charity events….”
The Ministry concluded that, since the forms were filled out incorrectly, it was impossible to proceed with making the properties tax exempt. However, since ENFIA is a new tax implemented in 2014 and taxpayers are likely to make mistakes in filling out the forms, the organizations will be given the opportunity to re-submit them.