Expat Taxes in Greece: A Guide for Americans Moving Overseas

Expat Taxes in Greece: A Guide for Americans Moving Overseas

Living as an American Expat in Greece

Many American expats choose Greece when deciding on a new home abroad. And why wouldn’t they? With its vibrant culture and stunning vistas, Greece is a true Mediterranean paradise. But what are expat taxes like for US citizens living in Greece? Let’s find out!

Greek Taxes at a Glance

  • Tax Year: January 1–December 31
  • Tax Deadline: June 30
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Population: 10.4 million
  • Number of US Expats: Estimated 2,000+
  • Capital City: Athens
  • Primary Language: Greek
  • Tax Treaty: Yes
  • Totalization Agreement: Yes

What Are Expat Taxes like for Americans Living in Greece?

First, you must file a US tax return as an American living in Greece. From Atlanta to Athens, all Americans have to report their income to the IRS. This is because every US citizen must file a tax return every year regardless of where they live.

On top of that, you will probably also have to file a Greek tax return. This can get complicated, so let’s take a closer look at the Greek tax system.

Who Has to File Taxes in Greece?

In Greece, residents are taxed on their worldwide income, while non-residents are only taxed on income from a Greek source. Naturally, this makes it essential to understand Greek tax residency laws. 

Who Qualifies as a Tax Resident in Greece?

Generally speaking, you will be considered a resident of Greece for tax purposes if you are in the country for at least 183 days in any 12-month period. Alternatively, you may be considered a resident if you have a habitual abode or “vital interests” in Greece. The definition of vital interests is somewhat open to interpretation, but common factors include:

  • Owning significant assets in Greece
  • Registering for Greek social security
  • Sending your children to a Greek school

If you do not meet the 183-day rule or have a habitual abode or vital interests in Greece, you will be considered a non-resident for tax purposes.

What Types of Taxation Does Greece Have?

Income Tax

Greece taxes income at progressive rates ranging from 9% to 44%. (All amounts are given in EUR.) below, you can see the current Greek income tax rates.

Income (EUR)Tax Rate
1 – 10,0009%
10,001 – 20,00022%
20,001 – 30,00028%
30,001 – 40,00036%
40,001 and over44%

Social Security Tax

Greece’s social security system is funded by employee wages, just like the US. The current rate for this tax is 40.56% of an employee’s salary, with the employer contributing 24.81% and the employee contributing the remaining 15.75%.

Value-Added Tax

Greece imposes a value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services. The standard rate for this tax is 24%. Goods and services deemed “basic necessities” are taxed at reduced rates of 13% or even 6%.

Inheritance Tax

The Greek inheritance tax is assessed based on the value of the property being bequeathed and the relation of the heir. For immediate relations, the rate ranges from 0%–10%, while other heirs may be subject to a tax of up to 40%.

Capital Gains Tax

Greece taxes capital gains at various rates depending on the nature of the payment.

  • For businesses, capital gains are generally treated as ordinary corporate income and taxed at the same rate (22%).
  • For individuals, capital gains are generally taxed at 15%.

Property Tax

Greece taxes property through a tax program known as ENFIA. This consists of a principal tax levied on each property and a secondary tax levied on the total value of the property rights owned by an individual. The factors determining the value of a given property are complex.

Property is also taxed at the local level. The rate for this tax ranges from 0.025%–0.035% of the property’s value.

Real Estate Transfer Tax

Real estate is exempted from the Greek VAT. However, the sale of real estate is taxed under a separate program at 3.09% of the property’s value. 

Corporate Tax

Greece taxes corporate profits at a flat rate of 22%. One exception to this is financial institutions, which are generally taxed at a higher rate of 29%. Resident corporations are taxed on their worldwide income, while non-resident corporations are taxed on only Greek-source income. Corporate profits are never taxed at the local level.

When Are Taxes Due in Greece?

The Greek tax year is the same as the calendar year, starting on January 1 and ending on December 31. Tax returns are due around June 30 of the following year, though the exact date varies depending on the last digit of the taxpayer’s tax ID number. Married couples may file a joint return, but each spouse is taxed separately on their share of the income.

Does the US Have a Tax Treaty with Greece?

Yes. The US and Greece have signed a tax treaty together. This treaty establishes rules for which country has the right to tax a given income stream, removing the risk of double taxation. In most cases, you will pay taxes to whichever country you reside in for most of the year. 

Does the US Have a Totalization Agreement with Greece?

Yes. The US-Greece totalization agreement clarifies which country’s social security system you must contribute to. As with the US-Greece tax treaty, this helps expats avoid double taxation.

Get Help with Your Expat Tax Return Today

We hope this guide has helped you understand your expat taxes as an American living in Greece. If you still have questions, our team of tax experts has the answers you need. We can even prepare and file your expat tax return on your behalf.

Start your taxes today with the guidance and support of one of our expert accountants.

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