Gov’t planning tax incentives to attract foreign pensioners

Gov’t planning tax incentives to attract foreign pensioners

The government is about to issue an invitation to European pensioners to move their tax residence to Greece.

The incentive for Northern European retirees, besides the Greek weather, will be the tax exemption of their incomes for almost 10 years – i.e. their pensions or any other revenues they may have from property or capital gains from stocks anywhere in the world.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed the issue at a meeting with the Finance Ministry’s top officials this week, and it appears the government will rely on the Portuguese model first introduced in 2009. Portugal offered foreign pensioners favorable tax treatment that exempted them from taxation, including on revenues in their country of origin, provided they had not been taxed in Portugal in the five years before they submitted their application.

The Greek economy stands to benefit greatly from attracting foreign retirees, as they will spend their pensions in Greece and possibly acquire a property and a vehicle. It is also likely to boost the economy of the Greek countryside and the islands, where tourism traffic over the winter is particularly low.

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