Corporate officials and freelance professionals who relocate to Greece next year will have 50% of their income exempted from taxation for the first seven years, as they are seen as contributing their knowledge and experience to the country’s economic recovery.
This measure may seem as if it’s aimed at wooing Greeks who have moved abroad, in the hope of reversing the brain drain, but it actually goes well beyond that. Any Greek or foreigner, regardless of nationality, who has been tax domiciled outside of Greece for at least seven of the last eight years will be able to utilize the incentives planned according to the regulation that is set to be submitted and voted on in Parliament. The exemption will be granted on the condition that they create one new job.
The measure was originally conceived due to the UK’s departure from the European Union and the interest expressed mainly by investments banks in opening offices or expanding those they already have here, so as to increase their presence in the eurozone. Sources say three such banks have contacted the government with specific plans, and it appears that this interest could spread to more banks and companies. Following consultations, Athens decided that the incentives will concern workers and have a broader application.
So far, the government has not considered imposing any restrictions regarding the income or profession of those who benefit from this clause, as has been the case in Spain, Italy, Sweden and France. If the government discerns the need to impose such restrictions and exclude certain categories of workers, this will be done through circulars, sources say. The measure will initially apply in 2021, but an extension may also be granted, without the measure being permanent.
The government also considers that the recent broad expansion of remote working due to the coronavirus will favor the relocation of Greeks from abroad. “Technology allows us to choose where we live and work,” Alexis Patelis, the prime minister’s chief economic adviser, told Bloomberg yesterday: “Besides the sun, the country can now offer tax incentives too."