ECONOMY

Tax barrier for buyers from third countries

tax-barrier-for-buyers-from-third-countries

Third-country nationals who acquire Greek real estate in order to acquire a residence permit are facing new unexpected obstacles. According to law firms, foreign investors who reside in Greece for at least six months a year could be asked by the local tax authorities to pay tax based on their entire incomes abroad.

As the competent tax authorities have informed the law firms representing the investors, citizens with a permanent or main residence in Greece staying in the country for at least 183 days per year (including any short visits to other countries) are automatically classified as residents of Greece. And yet the law with the incentive for property buyers does not provide for them to acquire a work permit too.

Obviously this problem constitutes a major barrier for investors from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt and generally the Middle East. They may want to acquire a property in Greece and bring their families over for security purposes, while they continue to work permanently or on rotation in their country of origin. There are also cases of investors who are retired, such as aged entrepreneurs with a family enterprise in their country that although they have departed from they still receive revenues from it being stakeholders.