BUSINESS

Tax authorities monitor Greeks' assets abroad

PROKOPIS HATZINIKOLAOU

TAGS: Taxation, Finance

The General Secretariat for Public Revenue has begun identifying properties owned by Greek taxpayers in 84 other countries which cooperate with the Greek authorities in a data exchange system. The secretariat’s agencies have already started drawing information from other European Union states and by the end of 2017 they expect to have completed their monitoring of Greek-owned real estate in Europe.

A key aim of the tax authorities is to find properties abroad which Greek taxpayers make an income from by renting them out. Greek law dictates that if the income tax rate (from such leases) in the country where the property is located is below the Greek rate of 15 percent, the taxpayer has to pay the difference to the Greek state.

The secretariat also wants to establish if properties abroad were acquired through money not declared in Greece. In cases where the statute of limitations does not apply, taxpayers will be summoned to explain any discrepancies. If the taxpayer is found to have acted illegally, this will be followed by the forced collection of taxes and penalties due.

Besides data on property held by Greeks abroad, the 84 international tax authorities will also exchange data with their Greek counterparts regarding securities, bank accounts, insurance policies, gross amounts of interest, dividends and other incomes, as well as revenues from the sale or buyouts of financial assets.

Greek authorities intend to focus in particular on the monitoring of loans and stocks owned by taxpayers in order to identify cases of undeclared incomes.

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