Greece: The recent and “attractive” Non – Domicile Tax Regime for Individuals

The purpose of this report is to provide you with the essential information regarding the procedure, which should be followed by individuals who wish to transfer their tax residence in Greece under the provisions of the “attractive” non-domicile tax regime introduced for the first time in Greece by Law 4646/2019 and by virtue of the recent decision of the Greek Ministry of Finance.

Conditions

An individual who wants to transfer his tax residence to Greece may be subject to an alternative taxation method for his income derived abroad provided that:

(a) he was not a tax resident of Greece for seven out of the previous eight years prior to the transfer of his tax residence in Greece, something which may be confirmed on the basis of the records kept in the competent tax office; and

(b) he proves that he is investing himself (or a relative) a sum which may not be less than five hundred thousand (500,000) euros (either directly or via a legal entity or a legal entity in which he holds a majority of the shares) in shares, real estate or legal entities based in Greece. The investment must be completed within three (3) years from the date of application.

The fulfillment of the second prerequisite is not compulsory if the individual has acquired and he holds a residence permit for investment activity in Greece, in accordance with the provisions of article 16 of Law 4251/2014. However, individuals subject to the Golden Visa program are not liable to prove investments in Greece in order to become non-domicile tax residents.

In particular, if the applicant initially applies for a Tax identification Number, or if he is registered as a taxpayer with the authorities of another country, the applicant is not required to submit supporting documents. In a different case, various documents must be submitted by the applicant.

The process

The individual who is going to transfer his tax residence in Greece and be subject to the alternative taxation of income derived abroad under Article 5A of Law 4172/2013 is obliged to submit no later than 31, March of each tax year before the competent tax office his application. Applications submitted after 31 March and supporting documents submitted after 31 May are accepted and examined in order to include the taxpayer in the alternative form of taxation of income derived abroad for the following tax year.

The competent tax authority examines the application within sixty (60) days and issues a decision either approving or rejecting it. Upon the approval of the application, the individual shall be considered a tax resident of Greece, in accordance with the provisions of article 4 of Law 4172/2013, for the tax year for which he is applying and for fifteen (15) tax years thereafter.  The competent tax office, in its express approval decision on the taxpayer’s submission to article 5A of Law 4172/2013, informs him that such taxation is automatically terminated after the expiration of fifteen (15) tax years and may not be extended beyond those years.

The competent tax office shall inform the tax authorities of the country in which the individual had his last tax domicile until his application for transfer was made, in accordance with the provisions of international administrative cooperation as in force.

The benefits

If the application of the individual is accepted, the individual shall pay each tax year at a flat rate, irrespective of the amount of income acquired abroad, one hundred thousand (100,000) euros. A tax equal to twenty thousand (20,000) euros shall be paid for each family member for whom the alternative taxation procedure has been requested and approved.

With the approval of the taxpayer’s application and at the latest by the last business day of June of the relevant year, a tax administrative determination shall be issued for the first year for the taxpayer and for any of his relatives to whom the application of this article is extended. For that year, the said individual is required to pay the flat-rate tax within thirty (30) days of the approval of his application.

For each of the following years of application of the provisions of Article 5A of Law 4172/2013, and provided that the taxpayer and his relatives continue to be subject to them, a tax administrative determination shall be issued, at the latest until the last business day of the month of June of each tax year.

Payment of the said flat-rate tax shall exhaust any tax liability of the individual who is subject to the alternative taxation of income derived abroad and the individual shall be exempt from inheritance or donation of property situated abroad.

The individual who falls under the provisions of Article 5A of Law 4172/2013, if in any tax year, and not later than the thirty-first (31st) of December of that year, does not pay the full amount specified in the respective tax administrative determination, he ceases to be subject to the provisions of that article from the respective tax year and he is hereafter taxed for his worldwide income under the general provisions of Law 4172/2013.

Finally, the taxpayer has the right, at any time – but subject to specific process, to revoke his decision to be subject under the Greek non-domicile tax regime.