The cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill proposing tax rebates for energy upgrades to businesses, as well as an extension of the tax deadline for individuals to October 2 and the suspension for another year of the obligation to file a tax return for those earning €19,500 or under.

According to Finance Minister Makis Keravnos, the bill was tabled by his ministry and aims to diversify income tax for businesses, through tax reductions for specific capital expenses that could lead to energy upgrading and savings.

This would also be another step towards a green economy, “which is one of the government’s goals, and at the same time reduces the operating costs of businesses,” he said.

Specifically, for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, an increased capital discount of 7 per cent would be granted instead of the 3 per cent that was in force until now, and for investments in machinery and equipment connected to renewable energy systems, as well as technical systems to improve energy efficiency business performance, an increased capital discount of 20 per cent would be provided, he explained

Keravnos also noted that for new commercial electric vehicles, as well as taxis and buses, an increased capital discount of 25 per cent would be applied.

With this bill, the costs incurred for an energy upgrade study, or the issuance of an energy saving certificate, would be deducted from taxable income, he clarified.

“It is an important decision which encourages and helps our businesses to modernise when it comes to their energy use, which will lead us to the green economy,” he said.

The finance minister said that the cabinet also approved an extension for the submission of tax returns for 2022, noting that the tax payment deadline is extended until October 2, 2023.

He explained that the extension was granted to give time for the passing of the relevant legislation currently before the House, concerning first time employment exemption, valid for the 2022 tax year.

Once the matter passes through parliament in the coming weeks, it will be possible to submit the applications with the relevant amendments so that everyone can submit their tax return, he said.

A third decision taken by the council of ministers was to suspend for one more year the obligation to file a tax return by persons whose taxable income does not exceed €19,500.

“This is done so that there will not be a volume of tax returns in this period, as we test the implementation of our new tax system, so that it can soon accept and process these applications,” Keravnos said.