Tax issues in Greece
Companies that have a permanent resident status in Greece, those that are incorporated or are effectively managed or controlled from Greece are subject to Greek taxation.
Which real estate value serves as the basis for the calculation of real estate taxes and fees in Greece?
The values of real estate which constitute the basis for calculation of all kinds of real estate taxes, duties and fees (for registration, lawyer, public notary) are computed in Greece according to two different systems.
Only in few areas in Greece has the system of 'objective values' not been applicable yet.The system applicable to these cases is the so-called system of 'comparative values.' According to this system, the competent local tax authorities estimate the value of real estate asset taking account of the values employed in past contracts on similar assets located in the same or close-by area.
In most areas in Greece the system of so-called 'objective values' is applicable. The objective value of the asset in question is calculated by the tax office pursuant to a standard method set by the state. The objective values are a system of unified values which are calculated based on objective criteria such as the location and construction of the specific real estate assets.
Expenses incurred by a property purchaser
A Purchaser acquiring a property in Greece will incur the following charges in addition to the purchase price:
Firstly, all of the expenses are calculated on the basis of the declared value for the property.
In the case where the property is sold by a private individual the Purchaser pays 3 %. The taxation is payable to the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (DOY) [Taxation Office]
E.g. For a property valued at 500,000 Euros
3 % x 500,000 Euros = Total tax of 15,000 Euros
B) NOTARY PUBLIC
The Notary Public's fee for drawing up the contract is compulsory and regulated by Law. The fee is calculated at 1 % for a property valued up to 120,000 Euros, whilst above that amount the fee is reduced as the property value increases and is between 0.70 % and 0.10 %.
Furthermore, the Notary Public's fee increases by an average of approximately 200- 300 Euros for the copies of contracts and other expenses.
The Notary Public's fee incurs 23 % VAT.
Representation by a solicitor in a property transfer contract is optional where the solicitor is acting on behalf of the Vendor or the Purchaser.
It is usual however for the Purchaser and the Vendor to engage different solicitors to fully represent their legal rights, who will be in attendance during settlement.
The method for calculating the solicitor's fee is comprised of two (2) parts:
1st part)- This relates to the solicitor's fee for attending settlement and only relates to examining the correct drafting of the contract.
The solicitor's fee is dependent upon the consideration stipulated in the transfer contract and is calculated at:
1) 1 % for 1 to 44,000 Euros;
2) 0.5 % for 44,001 to 1,467,000 Euros;
3) 0.4 % for 1,467,001 to 2,935,000 Euros;
4) 0.3 % for 2,935,001 to 5,810,000 Euros;
5) 0.2 % for 5,810,001 to 14,673,500 Euros;
6) 0.1 % for 14,673,501 to 29,347,000 Euros;
7) 0.05 % for 29,347,001 to 58,694,000 Euros; and
8) 0.01 % in excess of 58,694,000 Euros.
E.g.: Where the specified property value in the transfer contract is 500,000 Euros, the solicitor's fee is then:
44,000 Euros x 1 % = 440 Euros
456,000 Euros x 0.5 % = 2,280 Euros
The solicitor's fee is 2,720 Euros
2nd part)- This relates to the solicitor's fee for examining the property title at the Land Registry Office, Cadastral Office, potentially Town Planning, etc. In that case, the solicitor's fee is dependent upon the agreement between the solicitor and the Purchaser or Vendor.
Note: The solicitor's fee incurs 23 % VAT
D) LAND REGISTRY OFFICE
The Land Registry Office fees, which are regulated by the Law, are calculated at 4.75/1000 in respect of the property value stipulated in the contract for properties in a region outside the Land Registry Office and at 5.75/1000 for properties within the Land Registry Office region.
Approximately 54 % - 66 % of the Land Registry Office fees incur 23 % VAT.
PURCHASE BY A SOCIETY ANONYMOUS
Often, properties for sale (usually, hotels or large areas of land, etc.) belong to Societies Anonymous, whose only asset is the property that they are selling. In that case, the Purchaser may acquire the Society Anonymous instead of the property, i.e. 100 % of the Society Anonymous, whereby he also become the owner of the property.
In relation to the purchase of a Society Anonymous, you do not require: compulsory representation by a solicitor, Notary Public or Land Registrar. The procedure for transferring the shares is carried out at the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (DOY) [Taxation Office]
The method for calculating the taxation is:
The transfer of shares in a Society Anonymous is taxed at 5 %.
The share transferor (Vendor) has the obligation to pay the tax. In practice however, it is usually agreed that the tax will be paid by the Purchaser. The tax that is due is paid to the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (DOY). The tax must be paid, in order that the transfer of the Society Anonymous may be considered to have been completed.
The calculation of the share value is carried out by the Internal Revenue Service (DOY) and is not dependent upon the value that has been declared by the Vendor and the Purchaser in their agreement. The tax rate of 5 % is applied to the value that will be calculated by the Internal Revenue Service (DOY). In the event however, where the Vendor and the Purchaser have declared a value that is higher than that calculated by the Internal Revenue Service (DOY), they will then be taxed on this higher value.
Note: We recommend that the purchase of a Society Anonymous must be preceded by:
A)An examination by a solicitor of the property title at the Land Registry Office, Cadastral Office, potentially Town Planning, etc.; and
B)An examination of the financial statements for the Society Anonymous by a company that specializes in providing Taxation services.
The fee payable is dependent upon the agreement between the Purchaser, the solicitor and the Taxation services company.
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