MyData or Their Data? Back to the Future, or Back to the Past?

The introduction of electronic accounting books, as they have become widely known (MyData), is
being promoted in every possible forum by state officials as the new (if we may be permitted the
term) “uber-weapon” in the arsenal of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue – A.A.D.E., in
its fight against tax evasion. It is a multidimensional and also a multifactorial process. It alters the
way in which daily transactions are carried out, and at the same time it redefines the relationship, at
the level of auditing processes, between the Tax Administration and all stakeholders across the
entire spectrum of business activity.
It is a fact that officials in the Tax Administration never approved of the innovations that were
introduced with the adoption of the Greek Accounting Standards – G.A.S. (Law 4308/2014). So what
did they do about it? They engineered a return to the old Code of Accounting Books and Documents
via the electronic route. Because that is exactly what the MyData platform is. Let us not delude
ourselves. At the same time, the entire endeavor was never the subject of substantial discussion and
consultation. Even as these lines were being written, public opinion still confused the notions of
“electronic accounting books” and “electronic invoicing”, two completely different processes. And
so, for communication purposes, the familiar maximalist logic that governs the implementation of
reforms prevailed once again.
To be clear: Tax evasion must be dealt with. But that cannot happen from one day to the next, nor
through pharaonic projects such as MyData, which will end up creating more difficulties for
responsible taxpayers (both natural and legal persons), rather than curbing instances of tax evasion.

All businesses must now update and monitor three different subsystems:

  1. Accounting books kept according to the G.A.S. (as is currently the case)
  2. Differences between the accounting base and the tax base (as is currently the case)
  3. Electronic books (new obligation starting in 2021)

In our opinion:

  • The State must proceed to the further simplification of the tax system, by reducing tax rates
    and simplifying the procedures (although it must be said that significant progress has been
    made in this respect).
  • Making the Penalties Code stricter in regard to the issuing and receiving of falsified tax
  • Emphasis must be given to the comprehensive control of business cash flow, with the
    immediate reduction of the limit above which expenses are deducted from a company’s gross
    revenue (currently it is 500,00 Euro).
  • Intensification of tax audits, utilizing the data available to the Tax Authorities with information
    from various sources that enrich the ELENXIS System. We have the data but can’t seem to find
    a way to utilize them. And that is not a problem that MyData will solve.
  • The tax certificate requirement must be made mandatory again, and it must be expanded to
    smaller business entities. Audits can be carried out by accountants – tax consultants and
    economists who are licensed for this purpose, not just auditing companies.
  • Reduction of the limit for keeping single-entry accounting books to gross revenue of
    150,000.00 Euro.
  • Mandatory publication of financial statements by all undertakings, regardless of category.
  • Income – expenses system for all natural persons. All expenses (with very limited exceptions)
    must be deducted from taxable income.
  • Incorporation in the tax returns of natural persons of information about their bank accounts,
    along the lines of the Declaration of Financial Interests (“Pothen Esches” Statement).

Regarding MyData, and in view of its upcoming universal implementation as of 01.01.2022, the
following points must be made:

The application of this platform requires synergy and collaboration by all involved stakeholders:

  • Consulting – accounting firms
  • IT vendors
  • Businesses

The role of the account – tax consultant is discussed in D. 1138/2020 (Article 6, para. 3):

“3. The summary and designation are transmitted to the A.A.D.E. mandatorily by an accountant –
tax consultant who holds a license issued by O.E.E., for undertakings that are subject to the
requirements and gross revenue limits, as these are stipulated for the application of article 38,
para. 2 of Law 2873/2000, and examined, for the purposes of transmission, in accordance with the
provisions of article 4, para. 6, clause (c), sub-clause (c.1), citations b’ and c’, for the following as
the case may be:

a) For transactions pertaining to the designation of invoicing expense documents and self-billing
revenue that the undertaking receives from domestic obliged entities, as well as in a summary and
designation of expense documents per Article 4, para. 4 hereof, by the date of submission of the
VAT Statement, depending on the accounting system maintained. In particular, for undertakings
not subject to VAT, the summary and designation are transmitted to the A.A.D.E. by the date for
filing VAT Statements for undertakings that keep single-entry books.

b) For the summary and designation of data that pertain to payroll items, by the date for
submission of the statement for attribution of the relevant withheld tax.

c) For data pertaining to depreciation entries and other revenue-expenditure regularization
entries, the summary and designation are transmitted either in detail or collectively to the
A.A.D.E. by the date for submission of the Income Tax Declaration.

Therefore, the job of the accountant – tax consultant is not simply to transmit the tax documents
but to proceed to the designation of transactions and the harmonization of the electronic
accounting books with tax data (revenue & VAT statements). This process is not simply an extension
of the portfolio of operations for the accountant’s personal gain, as has been broadly claimed, but
an act of additional responsibility that is subject to serious sanctions and renders the accountant
accountable to the Tax Administration.

The role of the undertaking – businessman: It/They are required to ensure the transmission of tax
documents on a daily basis through specific transmission channels. To achieve this, they need to
change the operating patterns and business habits of many years. We understand that it is not easy.
But it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, undertakings with a large volume of transactions must
include in their organizational chart the position of MyData Officer, whose responsibilities include
controlling the flow and handling problems on a daily basis, but also collaborating with the
independent accountant – tax consultant.
IT vendors also acquire a role in the necessary organizational chart. They ensure the correct
configuration of the commercial accounting applications, technical proficiency and business
continuity, and intervene whenever required to ensure the unimpeded operation of the entire