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“Lifting” of real estate electronic transfers

Changes in the obligations of notaries are initiated by the Ministry of Finance to “thaw” the market. Pencils rest for sale and auction until January 26th.

Corrective actions in the new real estate electronic transfer scheme, which provides for the completion of the entire process at the notary’s office, is initiated by the Ministry of Finance to restore market stability. Notaries will not pick up “pencils” until at least January 26, when the industry’s general meeting is scheduled, leading to a “freeze” on real estate transfers and electronic auctions.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of representatives of the Coordinating Committee of Greek Notary Associations with Deputy Minister of Finance Apostolos Vesiropoulos. According to the statement of the President of the Association of Athens, Piraeus, Aegean Islands and Dodecanese George Ruska, the Deputy Minister showed understanding and willingness to find a solution, and an agreement was reached on the following:

  1. The notary, submitting capital tax returns, is solely responsible for identifying the defining data of the property with those contained in the contract.
  2. The notary will not be fined if the Greek state is not damaged and the concept of property tax changes. The fines provided for in article 36 of Law 4646/2019 will be re-analyzed and reviewed. The amount of fines varies from 100 to 1000 euros per notary.
  3. Responsible statements about the time of acquisition of property and the obligation to declare this in the ENN (Unified Real Estate Tax) will be canceled or limited in the least possible way if their content is obvious from the notarial document.
  4. The obligation to send the agreement within fifteen days to the tax authority provided for by the new law is transferred to the end of the next month.
  5. The electronic system, promoted by the Independent Revenue Authority, foresees and implements price zones as shown in the corresponding E9 form, which the notary checks, as they have done so far, and ensures that they are identical to the description of the property in the drawn up contract.
  6. The notary is not involved in granting the first house exemption, since in the last demonstration of the implementation, his involvement at any “discretion” and responsibility was already applied, and the necessary information is checked by the management, and any additional documents are “presented” by the taxpayer.
  7. Prior to the application of electronic filing of capital reports, seminars on the use of the application will be held in the offices of notary associations, there will be a printed user manual, as well as electronic automated demonstration tools. Two-way communication and improvement of the application with comments and notary notices were also agreed.
  8. By decision of the Ministers of Justice and Finance, a notary’s remuneration will be established for a series of actions that he performs for the seller.

In notarial circles, the decision to abstain for this particular period was controversial. There are many who oppose the decision to abstain until January 26, but the result is the same: transfers are not carried out in the same way as electronic auctions, and tax information released by taxpayers in recent weeks becomes invalid, and they will have to contact the tax office again.

Competent sources estimate that the transfer of property has returned to its 2010 high of over 28,500 people last year. By the end of November 2019, the last available numbers were 26,000, which is what it was for the whole of 2018.