The Right to Recover Output VAT on Bad Debts: The Greek Legislation and the VAT Directive

Bad debts have increased dramatically since the Greek financial crisis, with significant impact on the sustainability of businesses and their ability to survive. The VAT associated with these bad debts constitutes a de facto additional financial burden for businesses, which is why the VAT Directive allows for a mitigation of that cost. In this article, the author claims that the Greek VAT legislation on bad debt seems incompatible with the VAT Directive and should therefore be improved. The author also recalls that the VAT Directive provision on bad debt has direct effect and, in her opinion, Greek businesses could challenge the Greek VAT legislation, and obtain the right of a full refund of bad-debt-related VAT directly, before the national courts.