New rules (again) for Greek income tax
The smallprint of a new Greek tax law states that anyone who earns an income in Greece, including citizens of other countries, must appoint an authorised tax agent in Greece
The smallprint of a new Greek tax law states that anyone who earns an income in Greece, including citizens of other countries, must appoint an authorised tax agent in Greece.
The Ministry of Finance says that the obligation has been established so that the authorities can reach a representative of the taxpayer when necessary.
In order to comply with the new regulations people will be forced to hire someone simply to register the agent's name on the Greek tax return form. The procedure is likely to add to taxpayers' concerns for those living outside Greece, who for instance, receive a pension or rental income from an apartment which they may have inherited.
Many of the global Greek diaspora earn an income above 3,000 euros in Greece, usually in the form of a pension if they previously worked in Greece before migrating.
Greek citizens with permanent jobs (and residences) abroad are exempt from the 'presumed minimum income' established for all Greek taxpayers in a 2010 tax law, the Finance Ministry has also announced.
The exemption was made following letters of protest sent to the ministry by Greeks employed in Germany, who were asked to pay additional tax for a 'presumed income' by the taxation office for Greeks abroad, in addition to the income tax they were paying in Germany.
Under the 2010 law, an individual taxpayer is presumed to have a minimum annual income of at least 3,000 euros. For a couple, the presumed income has been set at 5,000 euro.
Lawyer Nicholas Venizelakos told Neos Kosmos, "Persons who live abroad should appoint an agent in Greece via a Power of Attorney to attend to his or her tax affairs.
For taxpayers with a reasonable income, the engagement of an accountant is recommended as the completion of the tax form is a complicated process and they may avoid tax traps."
Mr Venizelakos, who is also a member of the Athens Bar Association, added that anyone who earns income in Greece above the 3,000 euro mark or gross income from rentals above 600 euros a year is obliged to lodge an 'E1' income tax return .
"In respect of presumed income, any person who owned land in Greece for the 2010 financial year had a presumed income of 3000 euro and therefore, most Greeks abroad received a notice to pay tax," said the Melbourne lawyer.
"Now that tax returns in Greece are lodged online, the taxpayer must obtain a Tax Pin Number and a special Power of Attorney or a special authority is required by the Greek Tax Office to release the relevant Tax Pin number of the taxpayer concerned.
"In Greece, tax changes are so frequent during the last and current year it makes it difficult even for tax professionals to keep up with those changes."
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