Are Greek Australians having income in Greece, considered as residents of Greece for tax purposes?

The Kytherian, November 20, 2012

Pursuant to the latest tax law 3943/2011, several changes have been effected on the tax imposition for foreign residents,. According to the provisions of this law, an individual is considered as a Greek resident – and taxed for his global income – , in case that he resides in Greece for a period of more than 183 days within the same year. For the current fiscal year and from now on, the tax payer must prove that he is a foreign resident, by providing the tax authority with the required certificate of tax residence (Pistopiitiko Forologikis Katikias) or the required documentation.

How is the residence proved? For the countries that Greece has entered into bilateral treaties for the avoidance of double taxation, the execution of a specific form (“certificate of tax residence”) is provided, which is stamped and verified by the competent foreign tax authority and then submitted to the Greek Tax Authority. For other countries with which such treaties do not apply (such as Australia), the Tax Authority accepts the following evidence/ documentation as a proof of the permanent residence abroad:

  1. tax statements of the individual submitted to the foreign country,
  2. evidence showing the individual’s employment,
  3. permanent insurance and residence abroad documentation,
  4. copies of the tax payer’s passport and/ or air tickets, depicting the time period that the individuals stayed in Greece.

In case that the documents/ evidence depicting that the individual did not reside in Greece for a period of more than 183 days per year are not submitted or are submitted after the passing of the deadline, the tax payer will be considered as a Greek resident and will be taxed in Greece for his world wide income, including his Australian income and the estimate of presumed income/”tekmirio” (in case such provisions apply). Moreover, the tax burdens that apply for Greek residents, such as the presumed income, collection of receipts, etc will apply for him as well. The only exemption applies for agricultural income up to 500 €/ per year, as well as for interest received on deposits from bank accounts. For the current fiscal year (2012), the deadline for submitting the required documentation to the Greek tax authority expires on December 31, 2012.

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