For the first time this year, legal persons and other entities are obliged to declare their UBO(s) to the Central Register of the Ministry of Finance (MFA).
In accordance with the Greek Anti Money Laundering Law 4557/2018 - which implemented the EU Directive 2015/849/EU - specifically Article 20, corporate and other entities with registered seat in Greece are obligated to collect and maintain (in a special register maintained at their seat) adequate, accurate and current information on their beneficial ownership and register this information with the relevant electronic platform (taxisnet) of the General Secretarial of Information Systems of the Ministry of Finance.
Who is considered a “Beneficial Owner” (Article 3, point 17, L. 4557/2018)?
A beneficial owner is considered to be the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a legal person or legal entity, as well as the natural person on whose behalf a transaction or activity is being conducted.
Specifically, in the case of corporate entities, the beneficial owner could be:
a) the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a corporate entity through direct or indirect ownership or control of a sufficient percentage of the shares or voting rights or other proprietary rights, among others, through bearer shares or through control by other means.
A shareholding or an ownership of a propriety right interest of more than 25% in a corporate entity held by a natural person shall be an indication of direct control. A shareholding or an ownership of a propriety right interest of more than 25% in a corporate entity held by another legal entity, which is controlled by a natural person(s) or by more companies controlled by the same natural person(s) shall be an indication of an indirect control.
b) if, and only if, after having exhausted all possible means and there are no grounds for suspicion, the beneficial owner is not identified as under a) above, or provided that there are grounds for suspicion as to the identified beneficial owner, the natural person(s) who hold the position of senior managing director(s) will be considered as UBO.
What Information shall be disclosed?
The information for the Beneficial Owner maintained with the special register includes at least the name and surname, date of birth, the nationality and the residence country of the beneficial owners, as well as the type and the extent of the rights they hold.
Special Register and Central Register of Beneficial Owners
This Special Register must be held adequately justified and updated under the liability of the legal representative or the specifically authorized person by a resolution of the competent body of the obliged legal person or entity. The details of the beneficial owner must then be disclosed and registered with the Central Register of Beneficial Owners within 60 days from the commencement of its operation, by using entry codes for the electronic platform (taxisnet) of the General Secretarial of Information Systems of the Ministry of Finance. According to our latest news the Central Register has not yet been put in place.
Any changes on the information of the beneficial owners must be registered within 60 days with the Central Register.
Violation of Law and fines
In case of violation of the obligation a) to keep special register of beneficial owners and b) to register this Beneficial Owner information with the Central Register, the competent Authority may impose a fine amounting to EUR 10,000. In case of non-compliance or repetition, the fine will be doubled. Additionally, no certification for tax status will be issued by the authorities unless the obligated corporate or other entity will comply with the obligations.
Tax & Legal Advisor
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