Greek Australians frustrated over new Greek Tax Laws

Neos Kosmos, February 2013

Pursuant to tax law No 3943/2011, as implemented by the Ministerial Decision No 1217 of December 2012, serious changes have been effected on the tax imposition for foreign residents. According to the provisions of this law, it is not enough for an individual (taxed solely for his income in Greece) to just “declare” that he is a permanent resident of Australia, but moreover this has to be proved through a series of documents .

These documents are :

  • The (Australian) tax return, or
  • The (Australian) notice of tax assessment, including the global income.
  • If none of the above can be produced, then a certification from any (Australian) Public Authority (e.g. The Town Hall) evidencing the individual’s permanent residence is required.

Additionally the above documents need to bear the note “apostile” by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Level 13/ 2 Lonsdale street)

Then, they must be officially translated into Greek (here or in Greece).

Finally your representative/accountant in Greece must submit them to your competent Tax Authority.

In case that the above documents 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 or 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 fiscal year 2012, the deadline for submitting the required documentation to the Greek tax authority expires on March 29, 2013.

All the above are general provisions of the law. Each case has its own merits. Our advice: Since Greek tax law has become very complicated, new provisions come to force and the consequences are serious, we strongly suggest that you seek promptly professional advice from your Greek tax accountant, who is familiar with your tax profile and may advise you accordingly.

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