Greek is set to assess a 45 percent tax on immigrants and foreign residents even if they have declared and paid taxes in their own countries, at the same time the government has failed to go after tax cheats owing more than $70 billion.
Protothema reported the Ministry of Finance is setting the high tariff on money brought into the country and that appeals can be made to the courts, which can take up to 10 years to hear a case.
The law requires immigrants to make a declaration of change of tax residence before leaving and ask to be placed under the Tax Office for Residents Abroad, if they reside in Attica, or under the Tax Office of their prefecture’s capital, if they live in the province.
Most of the millions of Greeks around the world haven’t done it, either because they haven’t left anything behind to link them to their homeland, either due to ignorance, or due to other reasons. But many of them were sending millions to Greece for many years, in bank accounts that maintain jointly with relatives.
Thus, some are still considered residents of Greece by the Tax Office, which by cross-checking the deposits and incomes, sees that they deposit money in bank accounts while they haven’t declared any equivalent income in Greece. However, this money cannot be hidden and makes them a target for the Tax Authorities and the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE).
A typical example is that of a resident of England, who was called to be inspected by the Financial and Economic Crime Unit because from 2006 to 2011 he had little or no income in Greece but was sending back home monthly remittances of 900 euros ($1.189) transferred from Greek bank accounts.
Complainants can either resort to the administrative courts or they should manage to get the money out of the country as soon as possible, in order not to lose half of it, as according to the Tax Income Code, the Tax Office cannot accept the late change of tax residence.