If you buy or inherit a property in Greece, there are ongoing obligations that you need to meet to ensure that you continue to comply with Greek law.
These are included in the electricity bills and their amount depends on the location and the size of the property.
You should pay these otherwise the property can be confiscated and auctioned in order to settle the debt.
Greek property insurance
Although not compulsory, It makes sense to insure your property and contents as you would anywhere else.
You will be responsible for the utility charges – electricity, gas, water sewerage, rubbish collection etc. from the time that you buy the property.
If you are non-resident you must declare any income you have earned in Greece. This applies even if you receive this income by renting out to people from your home country and the money never touches Greece.
You will also normally have to declare this income in the country where you are tax resident but can normally offset the tax paid in Greece through Double Taxation Treaties.
In any case, even if you do not earn any income in Greece, you should file annual tax returns as long as you own real estate property in Greece.
Understanding Greek tax residence
The taxes that you pay when you buy a property in Greece will normally depend on whether you are tax resident there or not.
Tax residence is a determined by a number of factors. You are likely to be considered tax resident in Greece if:
- You spend 183 days or more a year in the country (not necessarily continuously)
- Your main home is in Greece
- Your immediate family (spouse and dependent children) are based in Greece
- Your main economic interest is in Greece
If you do become tax resident in Greece, then you will normally stop paying taxes in your home country and start to pay taxes in the new country.
Do not be tempted to have selective amnesia when it comes to declaring taxes the authorities in both Greece and the UK are clamping down on people who do not do things properly.
Sometimes you should declare something for tax purposes in one country and also in another. Greece and the UK have a Double Taxation Treaty which means that you don’t normally pay tax twice and can offset the tax paid in the other country against the tax that you would otherwise pay in your home country.
Need help with owning property in Greece?
Our UK-based team of property lawyers are highly experienced in helping clients who have bought or inherited property in Greece, including dealing with ongoing costs and legal issues involved in Greek property ownership.
With a thorough understanding of both UK and Greek law, we can provide clear, reliable legal guidance in plain English, giving you the confidence to deal effectively with any property you own in Greece.