The procedure for transfer of tax residence abroad under Greek law
The procedure and the supporting documents required for the transfer of the tax residence abroad are provided by Circular POL. 1201/2017 (Government Gazette Β΄4441/2017) of the Greek Independent Authority of Public Revenues (IAPR).
On a general note, individuals must apply by the last working day of the first 10 days of March and submit the required documents by the last working day of the first 10 days of September of the year following their departure from the country. However, applications and supporting documentation submitted up to the 31st of December of the year following the tax year of departure from the country are considered by the tax authority as timely filed and are processed.
The following documentation is required to be submitted:
- A written declaration for the appointment of a tax representative in Greece, as the law requires the appointment of a person permanently residing in Greece to whom all notifications and updates of tax issues shall be addressed. It is noted that the tax representative is merely a contact person vis-à-vis the Greek tax authorities and does not have any tax liability. This must be signed by the individual, with his signature’s authenticity being certified by the competent authority (via gov.gr, KEP or police station or Embassy/Consulate, depending on where they will be located at the time of signing).
- A solemn declaration of the tax representative for the acceptance of their appointment; This must be signed by the tax representative, with their signature’s authenticity being certified by the competent authority (via gov.gr, KEP or police department).
- Foreign tax residence certificates showing that the individual has been a foreign tax resident for the years under scope.
- Supporting documents proving in fact the date of departure from Greece and the establishment in the country where the individual declares that they reside, in order to evidence that they have spent at least 183 days in such country within certain tax year(s). Indicatively, said supporting documents can include:
- documents of employment abroad;
- documents of commencement of professional activity abroad;
- insurance documents;
- registration in a municipal register abroad;
- contract for the lease or purchase of real estate property abroad.
It is noted that, in case the individual requests the change of their tax residence while their spouse remains a tax resident in Greece, the following supporting documents must be submitted on top and cumulatively, evidencing that the applicant is actually abroad and has organized their life abroad in a permanent and constant manner:
- data on their employment abroad, which proves the permanent or long-term nature of the employment,
- information on the existence of a bank account abroad,
- information on the existence of a privately-owned or leased residence and accounts of utility services abroad, as well as
- data on obtaining a tax, insurance or equivalent Register Number abroad.
Finally, it should be noted that all foreign public documents which have been drawn up in the territory of the foreign state must bear the Apostille of the Hague Convention for purposes of certification of their authenticity. Moreover, they must be officially translated in the Greek language.
The competent Tax Office is obliged to decide on the application within two (2) months from the date of submission of all the above supporting documents.
If the application is approved, the person concerned is considered as a tax resident abroad and, if applicable, they must file an income tax return as a tax resident abroad no later than December 31 of the same year, as the obligation to file a tax return for said year is usually by the end of June, suspended due to the submission of the application for the transfer of residence abroad.
If the tax authority considers that the conditions are not met, then the person concerned is considered a tax resident of Greece and they have until December 31 of the same year to submit the relevant income tax return (for their worldwide income). Of course, the decision can be challenged in court, i.e. the dispute can be resolved by the Administrative Courts, by filing the relevant appeal (annulment application).
In practice, the above procedure may apply also for the retroactive transfer of tax residence for past years, provided that the competent tax office accepts such a procedure, taking into account that each local tax office may follow a different practice. If all applications for the past years are filed together by the 31st of December of the current year, the application concerning the previous year shall be considered as submitted on time and shall be processed, whereas the other applications, concerning tax years prior to the previous year, may be rejected by the tax authority due to the fact that they are submitted after the lapse of the respective deadline for each tax year, which may be in principle challenged before the administrative courts.
* The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as at the time of writing. We have no obligation to update it. We accept no responsibility against any third party who is not a client of the firm and has not signed the terms of our engagement.