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Paying Taxes in Greece; Non-Resident Income Tax Return

Athens: Greek authorities arrested one of the most important businessmen in the country, Leonidas Bobolas on Wednesday, for tax evasion. He was released later after paying €1.8 million in back taxes. This is just one of the Greek government’s attempts to collect money from tax evaders.

In Greece, income tax is payable by all individuals who earn an income in the country, regardless of their citizenship or place of permanent residence. It is therefore important for expatriates working in Greece to learn how to properly complete their income tax returns to ensure a smooth stay in the country.

For taxation purposes, anyone who resides in Greece for a period of more than 183 days in total within the same calendar year is deemed a permanent resident. Moreover, all individuals who are non-Greek tax residents are taxed only on their Greek-sourced income or income relating to Greek duties.

While there is no special tax regime in existence for expatriates in Greece, they may nevertheless obtain relief from the payment of social security contributions once their country submits the required certification to the Greek social security authorities.

When tax time comes around in Greece, you need to be adequately prepared for the completion of your tax returns. It is wise to consult a financial adviser with experience in filing expatriate tax returns in Greece, so as to maximize the financial benefits of your expatriate status.

Greek Tax Checklist

Below is a checklist of items and information you will need to have with you when meeting your tax adviser:

•    Gather all relevant information
The first step is to gather all the information you will need prior to sitting down to file your taxes. Doing this will help to eliminate some of the stress and frustrations that typically occur during tax time. Have all relevant information at hand, including basics such as your name, address and social security numbers. If you have dependents, you will also require information on their names, addresses and social security numbers in order to claim deductions.

•    Details of all income and expenditures
When filing your tax returns, you will require a detailed summary of all income and expenditure for the last year, including those arising from any businesses you may own. You will also require a summary of all sources of the income you have received during the year, whether from employment or business as well.

•    Details of payments
You will also be required to provide proof of all payments you have made, for instance to contractors you hired during the last financial year.

•    Deductibles
Also have details of all expenses which may be deducted from your personal income statement. For instance, if you are running a business out of your home, you may have this expense deducted. Double-check to ensure that all expenses are accounted for, including those relating to small items.

Make a list of all issues you may wish to discuss with your tax adviser. This may include areas in which you require clarity such as education expenses, taxes you have already paid, membership dues, or even internet expenses. Before meeting with your adviser, you may also want to review your profit and loss statement to clearly understand where and why your business made a profit or a loss, and how to improve in the next financial year.