January 4, 2024
Greece enacts legislation to implement Public Country-by-Country Reporting Directive
Greek authorities have enacted legislation to implement the European Union (EU) Public Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) Directive as set out in Law 5066/2023 (Government Gazette A 188/15.11.2023). The first financial year of reporting will be the year starting on or after 22 June 2024.
In accordance with the EU Public CbCR Directive (see EY Tax Alert, EU Public CbCR Directive enters into force on 21 December 2021, dated 2 December 2021 for further information), the Greek law requires certain businesses operating in Greece to disclose publicly — in what is known as a Public Report — the income taxes paid and other tax-related information such as a breakdown of profits, revenues and employees per country.
On 1 December 2021, the EU Public CbCR directive (the Directive) was published (pdf) in the Official Journal of the European Union. Following the entry into force on 21 December 2021, the timeline for the Directive is as follows:
On 15 November 2023, the Greek authorities enacted legislation amending the Accountancy Act to implement the Directive into local law. Overall, Greek law has adhered to the general rules in the Directive.
Covered persons: criteria and exemptions
The table below provides a summary highlighting the businesses impacted, including criteria and exemptions.
The Greek law also contains additional publication requirements for personal enterprises, foreign third-country companies' branches, private capital companies and credit and financial institutions' branches that have their registered office in another Member State.
A summary of the general rules introduced by the Greek law follows.
What to publish
The Public Report must include information relating to all activities of the standalone or UPE, including of all affiliates consolidated in the financial statements for the relevant fiscal year.
Where to publish
The Public Report and Filing Notification should be prepared in English and published in the Greek General Electronic Commercial Registry (G.E.MI. ). This publication should also refer to the subsidiary's and/or branch's website for the relevant register.
When to publish
Publication should be accomplished within 12 months of the closing date of the financial year for which the Public Report is drawn up and remain publicly accessible indefinitely.
Noncompliance can result in fines ranging from €10,000 to €100,000 for the management, administrative bodies and legal representatives of branches. The General Directorate for Market and Consumer Protection of the General Secretariat for Consumer Protection of the Ministry of Development are responsible for imposing fines.
The auditor, accountant or audit firm is designated as responsible for determining in the relevant audit report whether the company should have published a Public Report and whether it has done so in accordance with the relevant provisions.
Companies with operations in Greece should assess the potential impact of the new law on their business. In addition, companies should closely monitor the progress on the transposition of the Directive by individual EU Member States. Some EU Member States have opted for earlier starting dates, sooner than 22 June 2024 (e.g., Romania opted for an earlier application date of 1 January 2023 and the first financial year of reporting is 1 January 2024 for Croatia).
The Directive has a significant impact on both EU-based MNEs and non-EU based MNEs doing business in the EU. Moreover, it builds on a trend in which voluntary Non-Financial Reporting Standards (such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)), investors and the public request more public tax reporting by businesses. Going forward, CbCR will therefore increasingly come under scrutiny and will directly affect companies' tax positions. Businesses will also want to consider their broader (public) tax transparency strategy.
1 This is the enterprise that prepares consolidated financial accounts at the higher level.
2 In case of liable enterprises, the obligation is to report information for the last of the two consecutive fiscal years.
3 A standalone enterprise refers to an enterprise that is not part of a group as defined in Appendix Α of L.4308/2014 (Α' 251).
4 Medium and large enterprises as defined in par. 5 & 6 Art. 2 of Law 4308/2014 (Α' 251).