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Legal Articles & Media

Tax update: Greece’s tax exemptions for parental gifts from October 1 st 2021

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The Greek Government recently ratified Law 4839/2021 introducing a favorable amendment to the tax provisions of Law 2961/2001 regarding parental gifts and gifts between close relatives. As the beneficial tax measure had already been announced by the Prime Minister in the opening of Thessaloniki International Exhibition, the new provisions stipulate a tax exemption for the concession of assets and real estate up to 800,000 euros. Any transaction above the said threshold will incur a 10% tax only for the value of the asset exceeding the tax-exempt section of 800,000 euros.

Effective as of October 1st 2021, each taxpayer will be able to transfer to their close relatives, including their spouse or civil partner, parents, children and grandchildren, assets worth up to 800,000 euros without paying any tax. The same exemption now applies for gifts in cash that had previously been subject to a uniform 10% tax rate regardless of the amount of the gift, provided, of course, they can prove the legitimate source of the money.

In particular, it is possible to transfer their assets, including vehicles, bonds and other financial products. Moreover, they can gift not only real-estate property, including land, parcels etc, through that route, but also companies with a value of €800,000 maximum. Consequently, investments in all sectors are expected to receive a boost, with younger generations taking charge of the family assets.

It is noted that, according to the recently-introduced law, the value of gifts having taken place before the above date is disregarded when calculating the 800,000 euros tax-exempt bracket. As a result, it is possible to fall within the favourable tax regime for concessions made from October onwards even if there had been previous parental gifts and gifts to close relatives in the past. The measure is meant to facilitate the transfer of assets mainly by living parents and grandparents, so that the next generation can undertake the management of those assets and the responsibilities entailed.

Considering that the threshold of 800,000 euros applies for each donor and each grantee, in practice this can lead to concessions of assets and real estate of notably higher value. For instance, two parents may transfer an asset worth 1.6 million euros to their child without paying any tax. If the grandparents decide to transfer assets with a value of 800,000 euros each, this can lead to tax-free transfers of assets of a total worth of 3.2 million euros to the same grantee.

The new rules introduce a significantly favorable tax regime, compared to the previous tax provisions, applicable until September 30, which provided for a progressive tax rate for any transfer that exceeded 150,000 euros. More specifically, for any conceded asset from 150,000 up to 300,0000 euros, a tax rate of 1% on the value of the asset was applied. For assets that fell under the next bracket of 300,000 to 600,000 euros the tax rate amounted to 5%, and the transfers exceeding 600,000 were burdened with a 10% tax rate.

The same tax brackets, which were applicable for inheritance taxation as well, remain unchanged for the time being. Nevertheless, according to the new provisions, any gifts up to 800,000 euros are not taken into account, when applying inheritance tax brackets for the remaining estate between the same donor and grantee.

For assets of more than €800,000 the 10% tax still applies. This means that for a transfer of a property of €900,000 as a parental gift, the 10% will be calculated on the amount of €100,000, i.e. the amount exceeding the exempt sum. As a result, the tax owed for such transaction would amount to €10,000 as of October 1st.

It is worth mentioning that as of 2022 objective values of properties are expected to be altered. This means that there are areas that will note a significant increase in the objective values, while others will experience a decrease. This is particularly relevant taking into consideration that, even though tax on the transaction is exempt, there are still transfer costs that are related to the property’s objective values.

The newly adopted tax measures, in conjunction with the anticipated increase of real estate objective values as from 1.1.2022 in certain areas, are expected to bring about a considerable increase of parental gift transactions of real-estate property over the next months in those areas, especially with regards to real estate in Greece owned by non-Greek tax residents. Of course, depending on the amended scale of prices in each area, it might be recommended to delay such transactions given the imminent reduction of values in the respective areas.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their property transaction projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customized to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalized information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, October 2021

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Greek real estate market on demand: Thessaloniki plays a major pole of attraction for Israeli investments

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Over the last years, the real estate market of Thessaloniki has been experiencing an increasing interest by Israeli investors who have endowed millions in investment projects in the second largest city of Greece. Taking advantage of the enticing investment opportunities occurring following the economic bloom after 2009, Israeli investors and funds have acquired buildings all over the city, yet predominantly in the city center. The relevant investment portfolio varies from old hotels, industrial and listed buildings to residences with the aim of using them for commercial purposes.

Prior to the pandemic, which temporarily halted investment activities to a certain extent, Thessaloniki had already been progressively attracting more and more Israeli citizens who acknowledged and seized the prospects of the city’s real estate market, that have so far been majorly ignored by local investors.

Their main projects include the acquisition of large abandoned industrial buildings which are renovated and compartmentalized (parcellation), so as to be used or sold as residential units. Many central streets of the city, indicatively Ptolemeon street, have been gentrified thanks to these projects in which five Israeli interest groups have been actively involved.

Beside the above big projects, several Israeli investors have bought small and medium sized apartments of a value of EUR 30,000-60,000, which are being renovated and used for commercial purposes. It is worth noting that, in many cases, the properties developed by Israelis are further acquired by Israeli purchasers. Said projects have resulted to the strengthening of the Israeli presence in Thessaloniki’s real estate market rendering them the prevailing investment group in Thessaloniki during the last three years.

While the exact number of related investments in the city would be hard to determine, it is estimated that during the past five years the capital invested in Thessaloniki, and the neighboring beachside area of Chalkidiki, amounts to approximately EUR 100 million, with the majority of these investment taking place before the pandemic.

It is argued that the motives behind these investments are mainly historical and the growing interest of Israeli investors can be attributed to the strong links and the traditionally long and influential presence of Jewish heritage in the city. While this could be the case for some individuals, the reality is far more pragmatic. According to the investors, the determining factor for the majority of these investments are the development prospects that the city provides following the years of the financial crisis. As it is estimated that Thessaloniki’s real estate market is expected to grow rapidly, at least by 10-12% annually for the next three years and by 7-8% for the next seven to ten years, the city has become a profitable choice for prospective investors.

Among the landmark investments, that have been completed or are still undergoing, one could observe the following to form a clear picture of the development prospects in Thessaloniki:

·     Project 151 by “Calon Constructions”, located at Alexandrou Papanastasiou street, a complex which comprises of contemporary furnished studios for students and young professionals.

·     The investment by the Israeli hotel chain “Brown Hotels”, which acquired Michaelidis’ tobacco warehouse in 2020, located at Dodekanisou and Navmahias Limnou str. It is further noted that the hotel chain had also bought the listed building “Vienna” on Egnatia street. Both properties are to be turned into residential units.

·     The transformation of the former hotel “Nefeli” at Panorama into luxury houses. The project will further feature stores, a gym-spa and a restaurant. While the project is only halfway completed, more than 50% of the houses have already been sold to Greek buyers.

·     The acquisition of an unfinished building of a total area of 5,000 sq.m. located at the corner of Tsimiski and Katouni streets, by the Israeli group Fattal which is planned to be converted to a hotel.

·     The sale of the 3-star hotel “Olympic” on Egnatia street, which will be enhanced and converted to a 4-star hotel.

·     The acquisition of a small building near the Holocaust Museum and the mall “One Salonica” which will be turned into a complex including furnished studios.

The above projects depict the dynamic and evolving market of Thessaloniki which progressively welcomes new foreign investments expected to revitalize its image. Along with the recent investment of €6 million from Israeli individuals for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Epanomi, the city seems to have become a significant pole of attraction for investors who can predict the market needs and can benefit from its development prospects.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customized to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalized information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, October 2021

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Legal Flash: Digital Nomads Visa Legislation in force in Greece

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After a thorough study and research, the Greek Government finally introduced the “Digital Nomad Visa” that will allow for remote workers to settle in Greece and work from such a highly preferred destination. With the cooperation of the Ministries of Immigration and Citizen Protection, the highly anticipated visa for “digital nomads” has been voted upon by the Greek Parliament during the last week, following the desire of the Greek Government to catch up with the international trend of remote workers which has significantly bloomed during the pandemic.

While speaking at the «Delphi Forum» in February 2021, the Minister of Tourism at the time, Haris Theocharis, expressed the Greek government’s intention to form a comprehensive legal framework in order to attract digital nomads intending to base themselves in Greece. As a result, recently such plan was concretized with Law 4825/2021 that was finally voted upon on 04.09.2021.

It is true that the digital nomad market has been steadily expanding since 2014, and in particular during 2020. In spite of the travel restrictions, the number of digital nomads increased remarkably, reaching 11 million self-defined digital nomads in the US alone, an increase of 49% from 2019, while since January 2021, Greece has joined the global competition for digital nomads even more dynamically.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the MIT Enterprise Forum, it is estimated that if Greece attracted 100.000 digital nomads every year, with an average stay of six months, the financial benefit for the country would amount to more than €1,6 billion. With the broadband services of high quality, their providers offering competitive packages and rental prices remaining reduced, Greece is undoubtedly rendered a highly attractive destination for digital nomads.

In particular, Article 11 of Law 4825/2021, titled “Digital Nomads” proceeds to the addition of subparagraph IE to paragraph 1 of Article 18 of Law 4251/2014 (i.e. the Greek Immigration Code), which regulates residence permits issued to third country nationals for special purposes.

Substantive requirements for the issuance of the digital nomad visa:

Digital nomads, who are defined as “self-employed, freelancers or employed third country nationals, who work remotely with the use of technological means with third-country employers or clients, can acquire a national entry visa (the so-called “digital nomad visa”) of a duration of up to twelve (12) months if they meet the following principal conditions:

a.    They have sufficient resources to cover their living expenses, amounting to a minimum net monthly income of €3.500, as evidenced by the employment contract or bank account statements. In the event that the third-country national is accompanied by members of their family (spouse/civil partner or children), this amount shall be increased by 20% for the spouse/civil partner and by 15% for each child.

b.   Have comprehensive health insurance in order not the burden the National Health System.

It is worth noting that, as highlighted above, digital nomads can be accompanied by their family members, in particular their spouse or registered partner and their underage children. Said family members are granted an individual visa that expires at the same time as that of the main applicant. Of course, during their stay in Greece, the family members of the main applicant are not allowed to provide dependent work or engage in any form of economic activity in the country.

Procedural requirements for the issuance of the digital nomad visa:

The application for the national-entry visa must be submitted in person or sent via e-mail or registered letter to the competent Greek consular authority, along with the necessary documentation. The Consular authority is then obliged to reply within 10 days from the request of the person concerned and complete the procedure for granting the visa.

In addition to the general documentation required for the issuance of a national-entry visa, the applicant is required to submit the following additional documentation:

a)   solemn declaration stating their intention to reside in the country by virtue of the national entry visa for remote work, as well as their commitment not to provide any work or services to an employer based in Greece,

b)   An employment or work contract or proof of employment with an employer, who is established outside of the Greek territory, with a minimum duration of at least their intended stay in Greece, based on the visa, or, if the applicant is self-employed,the information referring to the applicant’s position within the business, as well as the information referring to the business itself, in particular, name, field of activity and purpose,

c)    Proof that they possess the sufficient monthly resources of €3.500,00 mentioned above,

The above-described application submitted to the competent Consular authority is subject to a fee of 75 euros.

In case the holder of the Digital Nomad Visa and their family members leave Greece and their Visa expires, it is possible that they apply and issue anew a Visa for the same purpose.

Digital Nomad Residence Permit

Moreover, provided that the Digital Nomad Visa holder continues to meet the requirements set out in Article 11, they, along with the members of their family, may also apply for a residence permit of a duration of two years. It is worth noting that the relevant application must be submitted before the expiry of the national visa and is subject to a fee of €1.000.

The above residence permit does not provide the right to work nor to provide independent financial services in Greece. Said prohibition is valid for both the main applicant, as well as their family members.

The residence permit can be renewed for as long as the holder meets the conditions described above. Periods of absence from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit, provided that they do not exceed six months per year.

As evident, the first step to issuing the residence permit is the Digital Nomad Visa issued by the Consulate. However, the law provides for an exception for applicants who have already entered Greece on the basis of a Visa Type-C or on the basis of a Visa Waiver regime, meaning they do not require a Visa for entry, to maintain the possibility to apply for the Digital Nomad Residence Permit while their Visa is still in force.

In that case, in addition to the documents described above and the general documentation, the applicant will also need to submit a lease contract or a sale and purchase contract for a property located in Greece, that would attest to their intention to actually reside in the country for the next two years.

Greece, already being the center of attention for investment opportunities and pensioners searching for the location to spend their retirement years, is undoubtedly among the most desired destinations for digital nomads. As is evident, the above-described law provides for a comprehensive framework that, along with Greece’s many advantages, is expected to attract more and more digital nomads who wish to establish themselves in the country.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully acquire the residence permit in Greece that is most suitable to them. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customized to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, civil engineers, topographers, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you throughout the entire procedure of transferring your tax residence to Greece and benefiting from the upcoming tax exemption package.

 For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, September 2021

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A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION IN GREECE – Insights by a real estate expert

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Which is the biggest difficulty in buying a property overseas?

Buying a property overseas is one of the greatest experiences in a person’s life. Although, in all overseas transactions there are inherent risks lurking that may create anxiousness and unsafety to the buyer. A successful real estate transaction is a result of co-operation and coordination of professionals from different fields i.e. notaries, civil engineers, lawyers, realtors etc.As per our experience throughout the years, from the very beginning we understood that the main difficulty a foreigner encounters dealing with an overseas transaction is to find the above professionals and co-ordinate them in order to achieve a successful outcome. The difficulty lies in practical reasons, as indicatively are the language barrier, lack of knowledge of the localities, mismatch on the mentality etc.The quote “Think Global, Act Local” precisely describes our approach on such cases. Corresponding to our clients’ needs and aiming to make their lives easier, we act as an One-StopShop, gathering under our umbrella all the professionals involved in a real estate transaction i.e. accountants, civil engineers, notaries real estate agents, property valuators etc, who are long-term and trustworthy partners. Acting so, our clients feel free to enjoy their buying journey, without having to bother themselves with formalities and technicalities, that could make them feel tangled and in uncharted waters.

Our liability and experience as built throughout the years provides us with the comperative advantage to provide an all-in-one services package, with our clients’ having to address their enquires and wishes to us, and us taking over their implementation.

 

I’m afraid that due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and health risks I have to postpone my plans. How can you help whilst we still can’t travel?

In a real estate transaction we have to distinguish between two basic benchmarks, which are: (a) the substantial step of finding a property tailored to your needs and (b) the technicalities, such as due diligence, signing of S&P Contract etc. With a reliable and trustworthy team of professionals by your side, the technical part could be a piece of cake, and the whole procedure can be concluded remotely, in virtue of a Power of Attorney (PoA).

In specific, by signing a PoA before the competent Greek Consulate or a Notary Public, either in Greece or abroad, we can perform on your behalf all the relevant actions for the completion of the transaction, from issuing the Tax Identification Number (TIN) to signing and registering the Sale and Purchase Contract and applying for Golden Visa.

Nevertheless, we should not exclude from the debate the first step of identifying the property. As a matter of fact, the global technological transformation diminishes the distance and makes a remote transaction not only feasible but the safest and easiest roadmap during Covid-19 times.

Our law firm, having a trustworthy team consisting of civil engineers, technicians, realtors, property valuators etc can help you choose the property of your interest remotely, either it is a holiday home or an investment property etc.

We always seek to provide our clients with services that have an impact on their lives and not with incomprehensible and obscure legal information that will make them feel puzzled and anxious. The selection of the property in Covid times can be transformed from a stressful procedure to a joyful journey with our assistance. Our team can pay on-site visits to the property and provide you with all the necessary material and information that will help you make up your mind and make the right choice.

 

How long does the buying process take?

The average time for the completion of a real estate transaction in Greece is 20 to 30 days. It is true that Greece is one of the most bureaucratic countries and the signing of a contract requires a pile of documentation, mostly from the seller’s end. 

Despite the cumbersome and Greek bureaucratic administrative system, which as physical entails delays, we have to admit that we are going through a period of digital governance transformation, as the Greek Government is doing the utmost in order to reduce the average time needed for a contract, hence facilitating real estate transactions and boosting investments in Greece. In the above context, the e-property portal was very recently launched by the Ministry of Finance, in an attempt to expedite the procedure and offload Tax Offices, which are struggling with the hectic workload. It is anticipated, that until the end of 2022 all real estate transactions will be concluded electronically, bringing a new era on real estate field.

 

What are the buying taxes?

The transfer tax currently amounts to 3.09% on the value of the property. Nonetheless, when we come to the tax estimation, the question “Which is the value of the property?”, could be proved tricky, as an objective tax evaluation system is applicable in Greece.

An objective tax evaluation system means that each property in Greece has a prefixed value, defined by the Ministry of Finance according to predetermined factors, as indicatively are the area, the floor, the facade of the property etc, the so-called Objective Value of the property.

The objective tax evaluation system was introduced by the Greek Government a long time ago in an effort to prevent tax evasion, which was a common phenomenon in Greece. Actually, it was usual the buyer and the seller to agree on a higher selling price and declare a lower price on the contract in order to reduce the payable transfer tax.

In order for the Greek Government to combat this phenomenon, they stipulated that the transfer tax will be calculated on the higher between the objective price and the selling price. Hence, even if the parties declare a lower price in the contract in an effort to circumvent the Greek taxation law, the buyer is obliged by the law to pay the tax on the objective value.

 

Do we expect a raise on the objective values and how could this affect the market value of a property?

In an attempt to boost real estate transactions and the Greek economy after the dire repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic, Greek Government decided to raise the objective values as of 1st of January 2022. Profoundly, the above will give a push on the market prices as well.

The objective values and the market values are like communicating vessels. Given that the objective values will go up, the market values as well will be on an upward path as well.

 

What other expenses should I bear in mind in order to calculate my budget?

Apart from the transfer tax, other expenses that the buyer shall bear is the registration fees for the registration of the Contract with the National Cadaster or the Land Registry, which are also a percentage on the value of the property.

The National Cadaster has been instituted in 1995 as a unified and constantly updated

information system that records legal, technical and other additional information on real estate and rights over it, under the responsibility and guarantee of the State. Its compilation aims to create a modern, fully automated real estate registration system ensuring the greatest possible publicity and security of transactions. The Cadastral system aims to completely replace the

System of Registrations and Mortgages – aka Land Registry – that was instituted in the mid-19th century, as the official public register of real estate transactions.

Due to the fact that the Greek National Cadaster hasn’t been finalized yet – for almost 20 years now – in some Greek areas the Land Registry is still operational, while in others the National Cadaster is finalized.

Depending on the area in which the property is located, the buyer has either to pay the Registration Fees to the Land Registry, which amount to 0,475% on the value of the property or the Registration Fees to the National Cadaster, which amount to 0,575% on the value of the property.

Furthermore, the buyer shall bear the notarial fees which usually amount to 0,89% – 1,00% plus VAT 24% on the value of the property and the legal fees.

 

Is it a good time to invest in real estate in Greece?

Covid-19 took a toll on real estate transactions globally. Expectedly, Greece didn’t escape the crisis. Despite the fact that there was a bearish turn at the pace that real estate prices were raising during the last couple of years, there was still a raise on the prices during 2019-2020, according to the statistics published by the Bank of Greece.

Of course, the rate of that raise was much lower than the anticipated one in pre-Covid terms and admittedly the pandemic halted the exponential growth on the real estate prices. Nonetheless, it is obvious, that since the prices had gone up during the pandemic, in the next 5 years real estate market in Greece will demonstrate great development, taken into consideration big investment projects, as indicatively Ellinikon

Project.

Besides, the recent past of Greece’s economy presages a positive outlook on the Greek economy. In specific, at the time that Greece started recovering from a period of great recession, Covid-19 showed up in our lives, having as a result, if not an overturn, then a slowdown on the Greece’s timid steps towards development. Nevertheless, while the forecasts for such a susceptible economy were negative, Greece proved wrong those that thought that this would be the final hit. Two out of the three big Credit Rating Agencies upgraded Greece, socking the markets by making it a safer investment destination during Covid – 19 pandemic.

On November 2020 «Moody’s” upgraded Greece, Government of local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings to Ba3 from B1 previously. Moody’s has also upgraded the local currency senior unsecured debt rating to Ba3 from B1, as well as the foreign currency senior unsecured MTN programme and senior unsecured shelf ratings to (P)Ba3 from (P)B1, while the outlook remained “stable”. On April 2021 the international rating

agency Standard & Poor’s unexpectedly upgraded Greece’s sovereign credit rating by one notch, to ‘BB’ from ‘BB-’, and adjusted the Greece’s outlook from “stable” to a “positive” one. In its scheduled review of the Greek economy the CRA projected an economic rebound of 4.9% for this year, above the latest Bank of Greece forecast for a 4.2% growth. According to the agency, the recovery will accelerate to 5.8% in 2022. The fact that S&P has also adjusted Greece’s outlook to “positive” from “stable” means that a further upgrade may well be due in the upcoming months, taking Greece to the verge of investment grade after more than a decade.

The deceleration curve on the price increase in conjunction with a series of favorable provisions that the Greek government is to introduce, along with the digital transformation of the Administrative System, and the positive outlook, create the perfect momentum for investments in Greek real estate market. It is anticipated, that the next five to ten years will be a milestone for the Greek economy. Thus, the prices on real estate may well be skyrocketed in the near future, creating a great opportunity for those who plan to invest on properties in Greece.

{ Two out of the three big Credit Rating Agencies upgraded Greece, socking the markets by making it a safer investment destination during

Covid – 19 pandemic. }

 

Do we anticipate new incentives for real estate investments?

In the opening of Thessaloniki International Exhibition, as per standard practice, the Prime Minister made   a series of announcements, including a set of incentives that will enter into force as of 2022.

First of all, the Annual Unified Property Tax (aka “ENFIA” in Greek) will be switched from a tax on the immovable properties of the taxed person, them being precepted as a total, to an itemized tax which will be calculated on each property separately, at least for those who have in their ownership properties of 250k upwards.

Hence, the escalation that is currently applicable on the calculation of ENFIA – a system of presumptive taxation is applicable in Greece – which has as a result heavy taxation for those that have in their ownership assets of a high objective value (which sometimes doesn’t correspond to the commercial one) will be abolished, and the total value of the landlord’s immovable property will be irrelevant for the calculation of ENFIA, making the tax relief obvious.

In addition, as of 2022 the buyer of an apartment or land plot will be able to know the amount of ENFIA that he/she shall pay annually beforehand – something which wasn’t possible before – an amount that will be readjusted only in case that the objective value raises.

Moreover, the Greek Government has already introduced many   tax incentives, addressed to specific targeted groups

i.e. pensioners, digital nomads, investors etc.

Indicatively, any individual abroad who transfers his/her tax residence to Greece, can be subject to a special regime, if they invest 500,000 euros within a 3-years period in real estate, companies, securities, or shares in legal entities, or legal entities based in Greece. Those who enter the special scheme will pay an annual flat tax on their global income, which amounts to €100,000 for a

15-year period. For those who invest 1m in Greece, the flat tax will be reduced to the half, namely

€50,000 and for those who invest 3m the flat tax will be reduced to the amount of €25,000.

“Greece offers new tax incentives to attract foreign investors.”

 

Which are the main differences of a real estate transaction between Greece and other countries?

While in many jurisdictions the sale and purchase contract can be concluded with a private agreement drafted by an attorney at law and signed before him/her, this is not the case in Greece. All the contracts related to a real estate in Greece have to be in the form of a notarial act, which makes the whole procedure more time – consuming.

Furthermore, the insurance of real estate transactions, which is a standard practice especially in the US, preventing the buyer from being presented with a fait accompli i.e. legal defects, mortgages etc, is not applicable in Greece. Having said that, a foreign buyer has to be very careful on choosing his/her lawyer, as it is substantial to secure that all due diligence is conducted properly.

 

Do I need property survey?

Due diligence is, if not the most important, one of the most important steps in a real estate transaction. There are two main surveys that shall be conducted in order for the buyer to get the green light to proceed with the transaction.

The first one is the legal research before the Land Registry and the National Cadaster in order to ensure that the property is free of any lien, such as mortgages, pre-notices of mortgage and that the registration has been concluded properly.

In parallel, our civil engineers will conduct a research to the City Planning Authorities, in order to make sure that all the surfaces of the property are in conformity with the building permit and legalized. Since city planning infringements are a national sport in Greece, we urge our clients’ attention to this research.

As per the provisions of the law, the legalization for the property’s surfaces before the sale of the property is an obligation of the seller. To be more precise, the Greek Government invented a very clever way, in order to cope with the city planning infringements phenomenon, while at the same time the Greek State managed to raise funds.

Since it was impossible all the properties with city planning infringements to be abolished, Greek Government obliged the sellers to legalize the illegal surfaces on the property by paying the relevant fine. Thus, a civil engineer appointed by the seller shall provide the notary with a certification, verifying that the property is well within the building permit’s provisions or – if this is not the case – that all the infringements have been legalized and all the fines have been fully paid.

 

For further information & clarification, kindly contact us directly.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, September 2021

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Marina Tower: A long-anticipated real estate project in Athenian riviera unveiled

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Greek Real Estate Flash Update – Marina Tower: A long-anticipated real estate project in Athenian riviera unveiled

During the first week of July 2021, the design for Greece’s tallest of the six skyscrapers to be constructed at Elliniko, Athens, reaching up to 200 meters on 45 floors, has finally been revealed. Located in the marina area of Agios Kosmas and one of Elliniko’s first architectural landmarks, the Marina Tower is meant to be the tallest green beachfront high-rise building in the Mediterranean, according to the most recent press release of “Lamda Development”, the developer of the monumental endeavour.

The 45,000-square-meter project is expected to be completed within the next five years, and, specifically, during the second half of 2025. Although the size of the investment was not officially revealed during the virtual presentation of the project, that took place on July 7th 2021, it is estimated at approximately 100-250 million euros.

It is worth mentioning that all geotechnical research and studies have already been completed, while the team includes globally renowned companies and, such as the well-known architectural office Foster + Partners, Faithful & Gould, Buro Happold, among numerous engineers from Greece and abroad. All studies, during the totality of the project, will be submitted in a Building Information Modeling (BIM) environment, thus reducing both the necessary budget and the timeframe of completion by 20-30%.

As expected, the ambitious project for the luxury 200-apartment high-rise immediately attracted the interest of many major national and foreign investors. Real estate agencies have already received numerous requests from both Greek and third-country nationals respectively wishing to acquire one of the 200 apartments featuring large balconies, gardens and an unobstructed mountain and sea view. It is worth noting that various high-net-worth investors have already signed a preliminary purchase agreement and, therefore, secured a place in the emblematic building. 

The sale prices will vary according to the size of each apartment, the floor and the features included, starting from €7,500-€8,000/sq.m. for one to four-bedroom apartments and reaching up to €25,000/sq.m for an up-to-five-bedroom apartment on the top floors featuring a private pool.

 At the same time, a high demand for the luxury detached houses in the area of Elliniko, Athens, has been recorded. As noted during the above-mentioned virtual presentation, 80% of the luxury houses have already been sold, i.e. 21 villas, while it is expected that a total of 27 will have been sold by the end of this year. The average sale price reached the amount of approximately €17,500/sq.m.

As far as the area of Elliniko is concerned, it has been on the investment spotlight for a while, with multiple projects already taking place. Indicatively, the works for sport facilities, a public information center and the Metropolitan Park have already commenced, at the same time as infrastructure improvements to the road network. Besides, the Marina Tower is, perhaps the most impressive, yet only one of the six building of such size that will be built in Elliniko.

 The Marina Tower will be one of the greenest high-rise buildings in the world and will serve as a model of sustainable design, incorporating the best environmental practices. Following the principles of esthetic simplicity, the building is meant to be constructed in harmony with the sea and the special characteristics of the Mediterranean area, highlighting the green and water elements, while implementing the latest international security protocols, thus offering the highest standard of living possible to its inhabitants.

According to the head of the architecture team that designed the Marina Tower, Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson, the “proposal for the Marina Tower is based on basic principles of sustainable design, creating an archetype new development model and a new ‘green’ landmark for the country”. Thus, the tower will incorporate extensive green and water elements and is expected to increase energy efficiency by 35% compared to a conventional building of a similar size.

This unique real estate project is anticipated to be one of the highlights of Elliniko, currently attracting the interest of the global elite in the largest greenfield urban infrastructure development investment in Europe. It is anticipated that said project will not only constitute an architectural landmark, but it will also enhance the country’s image, attract both investments and tourism and will showcase the area’s unique development.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customised to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, July 2021

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Providing tailormade solutions to global investors interested in Greece

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CHARALAMPOS AMOIRIDIS, FOUNDER, AMOIRIDIS LAW SERVICES, DESCRIBES HOW THE FIRM MANAGES TO DIFFERENTIATE ITS OFFERING TO SATISFY ITS INTERNATIONAL CLIENTELE

 

You have over 20 years of experience as an attorney, with a focus on international and corporate law, and, through Amoiridis Law Services, you are assisting international investors contribute to the Greek economy. How would you assess the current investment climate in Greece? What are the key advantages of the market to foreign investors?

Living in this post-pandemic era, we are trying to resume to normality. In that sense, Greece could never differentiate from any other country. The impact of COVID-19 was rather huge in terms of international investments coming in Greece. Thus, it took a toll on the applications for golden visa, which have sunk by 88 percent. In 2019, we had 3,504 applications, while during the pandemic applications fell down to 403. That was due to the fact that international investors could not fly to Greece. Everything was closed, as Greece was one of the very first countries that implemented strict lockdown measures, which of course managed to protect public welfare. As a country, we were considered one of the best countries in the EU in terms of the management of this crisis. Deaths were quite limited compared to other countries. One could suggest that the Greek government overreacted in the beginning of the pandemic, but, nevertheless, it protected us from this unprecedented enemy. However, we must face the reality and this situation had a grave impact on the economy. Many investments that were starting up until this point were slowed down or stopped. At that point, Greece was preparing for a significant boom for its economy in the wake of the economic crisis. Once the pandemic emerged, everything was put once again on hold. Now, we are in this crossroad, being ready to pick up where we left off, and the indications are spectacular. We, as a law firm, have faced an unprecedented demand from foreign investors as well as international funds, interested in investing on anything really in Greece. Greece offers access to the beauty of the Mediterranean sea, being a real paradise for everybody. We are very happy to see that the demand is huge, and we anticipate a great jump, particularly from the United Kingdom. The fact that Brexit took place in the meantime has made Greece highly attractive for British residents, as they want to be able to travel freely around the EU.

 

The 2010s saw Greece steering itself through one of the roughest economic crises in recent history, and now, finds itself weathering the storm of the COVID-19 economic fallout. If the adage of ‘every crisis is an opportunity’ is true, how can innovative policies, such as the golden visa and digital nomad visa, assist Greece in stimulating investment and job creation?

From the start of the program, in 2014, we have granted a total of 8,000 golden visas, which brought more than EUR 2 billion for Greece. That is indicative of what is to follow in the near future in that regard. The government has implemented multiple incentives. One incentive is related to tax for pensioners, as they can enjoy a 7 percent flat rate for the next 15 years provided that they move their tax residency here in Greece. As a result, Greece poses as a great destination for pensioners that would like to live their lives alongside beautiful people and climate. In conjunction with that, the current government has demonstrated a strong will to maintain a modern profile for the country, facilitating significant modernization projects and investments, such as the multi-billion Hellinikon project that has attracting significant international attention. This is a flagship investment for Greece and indicative of the government’s intentions to attract international interest to the country. Let us not forget that the Greek passport is ranked 8th in the world, being extremely attractive. People can gain access to this by purchasing property in Greece, under the golden visa structure, and staying in the country for seven consecutive years. Another incentive was also provided in the area of digital nomads. The Greek government recently passed a law granting 50 percent tax exemption on the income made in Greece for seven years, under the condition that the applicant moves his tax residence to Greece. The pandemic has taught us that working in a confined office is history at this point. People are not obliged to live and work at the same place anymore. Working from a country like Greece in the past could appear dreamlike, but now it is more than a reality.

 

Could you offer us a brief overview of the services international readers may benefit from Amoiridis Law?

A key differentiator for us lies with the fact that 95 percent of our clients are international. We see ourselves as a one-stop shop for foreign investors that would like to come to Greece providing expertise over a series of topics. Coming to Greece to purchase property you would need a real estate manager, a civil engineer, notary, and lawyer, amidst all the people that you would need to come in assistance in order to complete this transaction. We have put everything under our umbrella. When the client comes to us, we can offer them everything, from the real estate services to the end goal of applying for a golden visa. We are offering tailormade, VIP services to high-net worth individuals. In our space, can guide our line of work towards better understanding of the market. Recent political turbulence and disasters in Lebanon created a surge of high-net worth individuals from Beirut to Athens. We have seen a huge demand coming from Lebanon, with many Lebanese clients strengthening the Lebanese community of Athens. In general, the international mobility of the last decade is amazing, taking up year on year. There are no borders anymore and governments tend to realize that. People do not see borders anymore, as we are one global community with freedom of movement. The old-fashioned system is practically over. We understood that well and early on, alongside the evident mismatch of mentality. Greek bureaucracy and modus operandi in general have the tendency to cause frustration for international investors, as many things are working differently here, just like in any other country around the world. We are trying to be in our clients’ shoes and understand their mentality to make their lives easier and help them understand how things are done in Greece. This would be the second main differentiator for us compared to other law firms.

 

Concluding remarks and final message to the readers of Newsweek?

Now, that we are finalizing the vaccination program in Greece, more and more people feel safe to revisit the country. The hotel business is thriving, with many big hotel brands investing in Greece, especially Athens and other famous islands, like Mykonos. This is indicative that finally Greece is attracting international investors.

Legal Flash : Greece’s latest Corporate Tax Reduction framework

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During the past few months, the European Commission has been forced to take urgent measures to reverse the undisputed dire economic effects of the pandemic of COVID-19 to the global economy. In that direction, Greece is also planning to bring a positive momentum to the economy, with tax measures being under the government’s microscope in order to help businesses recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic and stimulate the market’s growth.

In view of the above, the Greek Government introduced Law 4799/2021, modifying the Greek Taxation Code, providing for a tax reduction package for businesses registered in Greece, individuals who conduct business in Greece, corporations and other legal entities, while excluding financial institutions, the Bank of Greece, post office giro institutions, the Deposit and Consignment Office.

Reduction of advance payment of income tax

Up until now, the Greek Government was requiring the prepayment of the entire income tax referring to the following tax year, based on the present year’s tax, in an effort to boost revenues following the recession. As a result, the following year a clearance would take place among the tax actually owed for the current fiscal year and the tax prepaid, in order to either require its completion or its partial return, where applicable.

Nonetheless, this provision, as stipulated in Articles 69 and 71 of the Greek Taxation Code, as amended by Article 119 of Law 4799/2021, has now been modified in order for the index of the income tax that natural persons exercising business activity have to prepay to be reduced from 100% to 55%, starting from the fiscal year 2020.

At the same time, the relevant index for legal entities is reduced from 100% to 80% starting from the fiscal year 2021 onwards, while for the fiscal year 2020 exclusively it is being set at 70%.

Of course, the tax concessions provided by the Greek law for start-ups during their first three years of operation and the so-called angel investors, which provide for a reduction of the above prepayment index to 50%, remain unchanged, thus still applying in the relevant cases.

Income tax reduction for legal entities

So far, all legal entities established in Greece were subject to 24% tax on their annual income, while financial institutions were subject to a 29% tax upon their annual revenue.

Taking into consideration the need to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, following the investments of major businesses and corporations, such as Pfizer, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (for more information, you can visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/amazons-first-web-services-office-athens-greece-charalampos-amoiridis/), the Greek Government is introducing a relevant income tax reduction from 24% to 22%.

In particular, Article 120 of Law 4799/2021 provides for an amendment to Article 58 of the Greek Fiscal Code, rendering the above tax reduction possible starting from the fiscal year 2021 onwards, while for the previous years it will remain at 24%. Keeping in mind that the tax rate for legal entities had even scaled up to 28% in the previous years, this tax measure is an indicative sign of the country’s constantly increasing innovation-friendly direction. Consequently, it is not only the recovery from the pandemic-related restrictions that will be enhanced, but also contribute to the market’s growth and investment potential.

It is worth noting that income tax referring to financial institutions remains at the prior levels of 29%, as the newly-introduced legislation’s main goal is to promote enterprises over banking institutions.

Taxation of stock exchange transactions

According to Article 112 of Law 4799/2021, clarifying the conditions in the case of stock exchange transactions, carried out via the Greek Central Securities Depository, as operating since 12.04.2021, a tax of 0,2% is implemented on the sale and purchase of stocks introduced in a regulated market. The above-mentioned tax is calculated on the basis of the stock’s value and burdens the seller, whether they are a natural person or a legal entity or a fund etc and regardless of their nationality and place of residence or establishment.

Moreover, the above tax is implemented in stock transactions in cases where stocks are introduced in a regulated market even when taking place abroad, as long as the sellers are natural persons having their residence in Greece or Greek or foreign businesses permanently established in Greece.

Nonetheless, in this last case, tax is not due when the transaction is carried out at a foreign Stock Exchange with which the Stock Exchange of Athens has established a joint electronic system of negotiations, under the condition that there is a similar provision of taxation in the third-country’s legal order.

Conclusion

The tax reductions seem to be a wind of fresh air for the businesses in Greece and generally for the Greek economy, as the tax reductions are drawing the interest of entrepreneurs and investors wishing to expand their business portfolio. As a result, Greece, with a location of strategic importance, connecting continents, is establishing itself once more to the international business market, hoping to attract even more investors wishing to launch their business activity in Greece.

Along with the Greek Government’s latest initiatives, not only as far as the legal framework is concerned, but also with regards to the tax regime, including favourable provisions for natural persons and legal entities wishing to establish in Greece, it is evident that the country is becoming a more and more attractive destination for innovation and entrepreneurship.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their business projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customised to their specific needs.

 

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

 For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, July 2021

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Legal Update : 50% Tax Break for Returning Professionals: Terms – Conditions & Deadlines

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In November 2020, the Greek Government had adopted a new provision introducing a 50% tax break for individuals who transfer their tax residence to Greece and choose to be subject to a favourable tax regime. Stipulating a tax break on income tax valid for seven years following the relevant application, as well as a complete exemption from presumed income deriving from the ownership or possession of a residence or a private use vehicle, this new tax measure aimed at enticing not only third-country nationals, but also Greek nationals who left during the economic crisis back to the country.

On that note, Decision A. 1087/15-04-2021 of the Deputy Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (“AADE”) has been issued in order to specify the conditions under which interested parties can fall within the scope of this favorable tax regime, as stipulated by Article 5C of the Greek Tax Code.

Conditions

The natural persons interested in transferring their tax residence in Greece are subject to the reduced tax regime if the following conditions are cumulatively satisfied:

a)    they have not been Greek tax residents for the previous 5 of the last 6 years prior to the transfer of their tax residence in Greece;

b)   they relocate from an EU or EEA Member State or from a third country with which Greece has a valid agreement concerning administrative cooperation on tax issues;

c)    they are providing employment services in Greece through an employment relationship as defined by Greek law to a Greek legal person on legal entity or to a Greek branch of a foreign company; and

d)   they declare that their stay in Greece will last for at least two years.

Procedure

1.    The interested party files the application to fall within the favourable tax regime within the year of their entry into employment. Along with the application, the applicant submits the relevant supporting documents and declares the state in which they last had their tax residence until that point.

2.    The supporting documents can either be filed by scan, email, courier, mail, as well as being submitted directly at the relevant authority’s offices.

3.    The Competent Authority submits the above application and the supporting documents to the relevant digital application.

4.    If there are additional documents or clarifications required, the applicant is informed and is given with a deadline of sixty (60) days to provide the additional information.

5.    If the application is approved, the natural person is considered a Tax Resident of Greece. Said decision may be published at the applicant’s TaxisNet portal.

6.    For seven years following the approval, they automatically no longer fall within the beneficial fiscal framework.

Kindly note that if the applicant, at any point, stops meeting the above-described conditions, they are no longer subject to the relevant provisions. It is, however, possible to re-file an application, in case the reasons for being exempt are eliminated.

Competent Authority

The Tax Office for Foreign Tax Residents & Alternate Tax Regimes for Greek Tax Residents is competent for accepting, examining, approving or declining the application, as well as the supporting documents and the electronic registration of the relevant information. At the same time, Department C’ of International Administrative Cooperation on Taxation of the International Financial Relations Directorate of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (“AADE”) is competent for informing the fiscal authorities of the state in which the natural person last had their residence prior to the application.

Deadlines and timeframe

The applications of returning professionals wishing to benefit from the advantageous tax regime for employment or business activity income for services rendered in Greece until 31.07.2021 and the relevant supporting documents shall be submitted to the Tax Office for Foreign Tax Residents & Alternate Tax Regimes for Greek Tax Residents until 30.09.2021. The decision by the Tax Office will be issued until 30.11.2021.

For applications submitted after the above deadline set for 30.09.2021, it is stipulated that they will be accepted and examined in order to subsume the taxpayer in the reduced taxed regime for their income rendered in Greece for the following fiscal year.

Regarding individuals who have already transferred their tax residence to Greece and have concluded employment contracts or have started their business activity within the tax year 2020, they are also eligible for the reduced tax regime, on condition that they have not been tax residents in Greece from 2015 to 2019. Even if said professionals undertook employment or started business activity during the fiscal year 2020, they can benefit from the special tax provisions for the income earned from 01.01.2021 onwardsdeclaring their intention to reside in Greece for at least two years, starting from 01.01.2021.

Deadline for submitting the supporting documents

It is noted that the applications can be submitted even if they are not accompanied by the original supporting documents required at the time of their submission, provided that a solemn declaration is presented whereby the taxpayer declares that they meet the conditions and that they are unable to submit them in the prescribed manner owing to the suspension or restrictions to the operation of the respective issuing services due to COVID-19. The taxpayer is obliged to submit the supporting documents in order to complete their file within a reasonable time and no later than 22.11.2021.

Taking into account that hundreds of foreign citizens, among them high-net-worth investors and pensioners, have already taken advantage of the previously introduced favorable tax regime, it is expected that the new tax measures will further boost Greek economy by luring to the country not only the professionals who left during the economic crisis, but also foreign talent and highly skilled workers from abroad wishing to relocate to Greece.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customized to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, civil engineers, topographers, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you throughout the entire procedure of transferring your tax residence to Greece and benefiting from the upcoming tax exemption package.

 For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, May 2021

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Legal Flash Update: Greece is Digitalizing Real-Estate Transactions

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The Greek Government has recently launched the “Doing Business Program”, meant to improve the country’s ranking in the global investment and business environment, focusing on 11 indicators that will render Greece an even friendlier destination for investors, companies and business operations. As part of its planning and the relevant initiatives undertaken by the Greek government, it was announced that until June 2021 a new platform, “e-Metavivasi” (e-Transfer), that will modernize real-estate transactions, enabling the electronic submission and collection of all necessary documentation in cases of property transfers, is to commence operations on a pilot case basis.

Operation of the platform

The platform, “e-Metavivasi”, will be operating under the auspices of the Greek National Cadaster. According to the current planning, both the buyers and the sellers of real estate properties will authorize notaries, that will have access to the platform, in order for the latter to receive the documentation necessary for the completion of the real estate transaction.

As a result, it is the notary that will be electronically collecting all necessary documentation on behalf of the buyers and sellers. Of course, if there are any supporting documents that cannot be electronically retrieved, the parties can manually upload them in order to complete the transaction.

 Interconnection with other platforms

The platfrom will initially be interconnected with the relevant platform of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue, “MyProperty”, regarding Real Estate Tax, which has already been operating since the beginning of March. On that note, it is worth mentioning that, so far, more than 1.000 tax declarations for property transfers have already been uploaded to “MyProperty”, amounting to 10%-15% of the total property transfers, while this number is expected to rise to 2.000 in May, also expanding to parental donations and gift contracts.

 

At the same time, since October 2018, the platform “e-Adeies” (e-Permits) was introduced, allowing for the electronic issuance of building permits, also making the need for the citizen or the civil engineer to come before the Police Departments for the validation of the permit no longer necessary, thus significantly expediating procedures.

In the following couple of months, “e-Adeies” will be interconnected with the Fire Department and all acts will be digitalized, hence no longer requiring the physical appointment by the citizen or the civil engineer to the Fire Department.

Moreover, the platform regarding Social Insurance, “e-EFKA” and DEDDIE (Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator) will be interconnected with the platform, so as to exclude any further procedures before these authorities.

Benefits of the “e-Metavivasi” platform

The newly-introduced platform is expected to present significant benefits, improving the timeframes for the completion of transactions, while also reducing costs for all parties involved, referring both to natural persons and undertakings. In particular, it will involve the following advantages:

·     Acceleration of the collection of the required documentation.

·     Automatization of the collection of the documentation which can be issued online.

·     All the supporting documents are collected from one platform and the notary can use or send them without any surcharges or additional expenses (e.g. printing costs, property research etc.).

·     Its automatic interconnection with “MyProperty” for the deposition of the respective tax significantly facilitates the completion of the transactions.

·     Physical presence before public authorities and services will no longer be required for the collection of all the documentation.

Timeframe

According to the planning, by 2022, the platform is to be further expanded so as to include additional documentation which will either be digitalized or simplified. At the same time, the ultimate purpose is to encompass more notarial acts, further facilitating any relevant transactions.

Procedure for the filling in of the electronic file for the transfer of property

1.    The notary logs in the digital platform for the transfer of property and invites the buyer and the seller of the transaction.

2.    The seller accesses the platform, authorizes the notary and selects the real estate to be transferred.

3.    The buyer accesses the platform and authorizes the notary, thus activating the file.

4.    The platform automatically collects the documentation through its interconnection with the other relevant platforms.

5.    The notary manually uploads any supporting documents which cannot be collected automatically.

6.    The seller receives the Cadastral Chart Extract and uploads it to the platform.

7.    The notary verifies the validity of the documents and proceeds to the Tax Declaration for Property Transfer through the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. The platform for the transfer is automatically updated.

8.    The notary drafts the notarial act. The contracting parties sign the act.

9.    The notary commences the procedures of the final registration of the real estate via the application of the Cadaster.

10. The notary inserts the protocol number in the platform for the transfer.

Taking the above into consideration, purchasing and transferring real-estate property in Greece will now become even easier, enabling more and more investors to complete their projects in Greece in a significantly more speedy manner.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customised to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, May 2021

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Family Offices: A New Favourable Regime for High-Net-Worth Individuals in Greece | Legal Update

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Preamble

 In 17.02.2021, the Greek parliament passed Law 4778/2021, introducing a new legal and fiscal framework regarding wealth management, aiming to render Greece an even more welcoming destination for investors and high-net-worth individuals. Adding to the already advantageous framework, namely the “non-dom” scheme, the introduction of single-family offices promises the completion of the aforesaid framework, by offering the stimulus necessary in order to attract the personal investments of investors in Greece. This revolutionary initiative of the Greek Government, setting the example for other E.U. countries, where the matter remains highly unregulated, is presents multiple benefits as far as taxation, revenue, social cohesion and transparency are concerned.

On the basis of Article 25 of the above law, a new provision has been introduced to Law 4172/2013 regarding “Income Taxation, urgent measures of implementation of Law 4046/2018, Law 4093/2012 and Law 4127/2013 and other provisions” or, in short, the Greek Taxation Code, adding Article 71H, thus creating the necessary legal framework for establishing Special-Purpose Vehicle for the purpose of managing family assets.

Legal Form

Family Offices can operate under any legal form, i.e. Société Anonyme, Limited Liability Company, General or Limited Partnership etc, with the exception of non-profit legal entities.

Benefits of Single Family Offices

Unlike multifamily offices, operating in other countries around the globe, Single Family Offices have a significantly simpler structure, allowing for their easier operation. Communications and decision-making are carried out in a more rapid manner, there is a higher degree of protection of the family’s private life, while it is also easier to effectively overview the employees.

Family Offices’ Purpose

Their exclusive special purpose revolves around the management of the wealth of individuals and their family members, including their family assets, the investments and the money flows they hold, either directly or indirectly, via legal entities.

Members of Family Offices

The provisions regarding Family Offices shall apply to natural personscurrent or prospective tax residents in Greece, regardless of their respective tax regime. Their family members, including, as it is exhaustively provided by the law, the spouse, the unmarried children and the parents of the spouses, as well as legal entities in which these family members participate can constitute a member in a Family Office.

Minimum value of the family’s assets

Unlike other states, Greece has not determined a minimum value that the family’s assets should meet, in order for a family office to manage them, as long as they fulfil the following criteria.

Preconditions for the establishment of a Family Office

 The following requirements need to be met cumulatively so as for a Family Office to lawfully operate in Greece:

1)   The Family Office should employ at least five (5) individuals of various sectors of expertise in Greece within 12 months of its establishment and henceforth. It is worth mentioning that a partner or a shareholder of a Family Office cannot be considered as an employee.

2)   The entity should spend at least at least €1.000.000,00 in operation costs in Greece on an annual basis.

Taxation of the income generated by the Family Office

The gross revenue generated from the services provided by Family Offices, which is to be collected exclusively through bank transfers, is determined by applying a seven percent (7%) profit margin to all their expenses and depreciation costs, excluding income tax. The expenses of the entity, on which the 7% markup applies, will be deducted from the gross income, on condition that these are booked in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law Greek Accounting Standards legislation (Law 4308/2014). Of course, family offices will be taxed as legal entities as far as income is concerned, where the percentage of 24% applies.

It should be further noted that VAT shall not be imposed on the transactions carried out between the family office and the family members, since they are considered to be incurred within the same entity.

Pending a decision from the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Independent Authority for Public Revenue which will specify the details for the implementation of the latest tax provisions, this new regime, that will be in force starting this year, is expected to have a twofold beneficial outcome. Apart from attracting investors in the country, Family Offices are expected to create considerable added value, given the relocation of employees who will be employed at these special purpose corporate vehicles.

At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customised to their specific needs.

As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalised information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, March 2021

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