January 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Prices for Covid-19 tests rise by government decision

The government apparently decided that citizens who are forced to do express tests for coronavirus at the legislative level are already accustomed to paying in pharmacies for testing, and decided to additionally impose 6% VAT on tests.

This is a very original decision, taken at a time when the prices of food, energy, medicines and essential goods have skyrocketed.

According to the ADSE circular and at the initiative of the government, from now on, citizens will see increased prices in pharmacies for express and rapid tests, as well as PCR in pharmacies. Recall that from the beginning of the pandemic until now there has been no tax rate on these products, and it seems that the government decided to make some more money on it.

These price increases directly burden unvaccinated workers in many categories, who continue to be required to undergo a weekly rapid test at their own expense, and with the recent surge in respiratory infections, there has been an increased demand for self-testing.

According to the AADE circular:

  1. By Circular E.2002/2020, the Governor of AADE was notified of the provisions of Article 73 of Law 4764/2020, which added a new paragraph 1A to Article 21 of the VAT Code (Law 2859/2000) and provided for the application of a zero VAT rate on the import and supply of goods directly related to medical treatment Covid-19 (vaccines and in vitro diagnostic products). The same rate applies to services closely related to the goods referred to in the previous subparagraph.
  2. With these provisions, our country has taken advantage of the opportunity given to Member States to apply the zero rate to various Covid-19 related goods and related services, in accordance with the new Article 129a of Directive 2006/112/EC, introduced by Article 1 of Directive (EU) 2020/2020.
  3. The above provisions of paragraph 1A of Article 21 of the VAT Code, which entered into force on 23/12/2020, were applicable until 31/12/2022, as expressly provided for by the relevant EU legislation (Directive (EU) 2020/2020). Thus, after the expiration of the above provisions, it is clarified that these goods and services are subject to the VAT rate applicable in each case in accordance with the provisions of Article 21 of the VAT Code in conjunction with Annex III thereto.
  4. In particular and with regard to:
    1. SARS-CoV vaccines from category 3002 for human use
    2. Express diagnostic tests,
    3. PCR diagnostic tests,
    4. rapid diagnostic tests, antibody tests and other diagnostic tests for Covid-19 HS 3822 for humans, which are essential commodities for the fight against the pandemic, are subject to a minimum VAT rate (6% super-reduced rate), making it easier for medical professionals to access these commodities and the population of the country as a whole, in order to combat the virus and prevent its spread, without any time restrictions for their use.
  5. In the event that, when supplying rapid diagnostic tests to consumers, pharmacies, which for the convenience of consumers also undertake to conduct tests, any additional price received by them will increase the taxable value of the underlying transaction, namely the supply of the rapid diagnostic test, and therefore will be subject to the same VAT rate of 6%. In any case, the performance of diagnostic tests for the coronavirus Covid-19 by private diagnostic laboratories in accordance with Decree 84/2001 or by other primary health care institutions, regardless of the method used (rapid test or PCR), is exempt from VAT in accordance with the provisions of Article 22 , paragraph. 1(e) of the VAT Code without the right to deduct the VAT charged on the relevant inputs.

Of course, 6% is not that much, but let’s multiply this figure by at least a million people who pay 5-10 euros out of pocket every week for this test, and the result will be notdecent amount.



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