Two months after closing the public consultation on the myDATA scheme, the Greek tax authority, IAPR, has yet to share the feedback received from the industry on the proposed scheme or make any official announcement in this regard. However, local discussions indicate that, the IAPR may reintroduce its initial agenda proposed back in August 2018, which would mandate electronic invoicing based on a clearance model.
Following input from stakeholders, the IAPR is believed to have realized that mandatory e-invoicing in a clearance model will be required to achieve its sought-after goals of reducing administrative burdens on businesses and combatting tax fraud. An EU derogation from the VAT Directive will still be required, and the IAPR will have to follow the logistics and formalities of the derogation process including justifying its request to implement special measures that deviate from the freedom of choice of the Directive regarding the invoicing method.
A first natural step towards e-invoice clearance would be to formalize the definition of e-invoice service providers (SPs). The current role of SPs in the myDATA framework is to help taxpayers with data preparation, consolidation and transmission to the government portal. The scope of the SPs role could either remain the same, in which case little or no governmental oversight would be required, or it could expand and include functions that usually are at the core of government tax controls, such as clearing an invoice by various means.
The former function would resemble a clearance model similar to India, where an Application Service Provider, ASP, (non-regulated function) can perform various functions, such as verifying the Invoice Reference Number on the invoice, which under the Greek framework could correspond to verifying the relevant reference number under the myDATA scheme, called MARK. The more expanded role would be a regulated function subject to government control and eligibility criteria that are usually restrictive. The SP would then act in its capacity of a government agency, similar to a PAC in Mexico which performs the government outsourced function of clearing the invoice. It remains to be seen which pathway Greece will take at this clearance cross-road.
Regarding the implementation timeline, the myDATA project is expected to be postponed by three months which would allow the authorities more time to complete the accreditation scheme for e-invoice SPs at the beginning of 2020. The new expected launch data for the myDATA scheme is 1 April 2020.
To find out more about Greece’s tax compliance landscape, join our webinar on 14 November when we’ll be covering more about the myDATA framework as well as Greece’s plans to introduce mandatory e-invoicing.