Greece’s Highest Court Confirms Church Must Pay Tax for Rented Property



The Council of State on Wednesday decided that the obligatory property tax on Church of Greece rental properties is correct.

With three separate decisions (1731-1733/2018), Greece’s highest administrative court rejected the Church of Greece objection to pay approximately €2.9 million in taxes for the rentals of 164 properties in the 2011-2013 period.

The Church of Greece claimed a 1952 Legislative Decree (2185/1952) that exempts the Church for paying property tax. However, the Council of State concluded that the 1952 decree was abolished in 1971 by Legislative Decree 1077/1971.

“Since then, the Church of Greece, as a non-profit legal entity under Laws 99, 100 and 109 of the Income Tax Code, is subject to income tax on income from its residential property under the 1952 Convention,” states the rationale of the supreme judges.

As noted by the judges, the provisions of Article 12 of Law 3842/2010 on the abolition of tax exemptions for non-profit or non-profit legal entities have not altered the existing obligations for the specific properties of the Church of Greece.