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Economy

Rich Foreigners, Pensioners Switch Tax Residency to Greece, More Sought

ATHENS – Offering big tax breaks for making Greece a tax residence has already seen more than 90 foreign millionaires and 180 pensioners from other countries taking advantage, raking in 4.5 million euros ($5.46 million) so far.

Many of them moved their tax domicile from the United Kingdom, and even from South America to Greece, while several Scandinavian pensioners have relocated to Greece, buying properties too, said Kathimerini.

While chasing people crushed by austerity measures, the ruling New Democracy offered the incentives to make Greece their place of tax residency, setting a ceiling of 100,000 euros ($111,795) on their worldwide income.

In early 2020, Greek lawmakers okayed the deal for so-called “non-dom” tax residents that gives them preferred deals over Greek citizens now being taxed at higher rates – the basic income tax is 45 percent – as the government wants to bring in more cash from the world's wealthy.

To qualify, residency is required in Greece at least 183 days a year and an investment must be made by the resident or a relative of at least 500,000 euros ($558,975) in real estate or business securities in legal persons or legal entities based in Greece, The Cyprus Mail said.

The investment must be finalized within three years from the date of submission of the application for the transfer of the tax residence, with the flat tax good for 15 years.

The program is aimed at shipowners, successful entrepreneurs and the retired rich, said The Financial Times in a feature earlier, Greece already offering Golden Visas that come with residency permits and European Union passports for rich foreigners who invest in the country.

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ATHENS - Amid complaints that letting rich foreigners qualify for Greek Golden Visas by buying property has dried up supplies and driven up rents and purchase prices, more investors want to take advantage of putting money in bank deposits.

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