Tax Number & Residency For UK National

5 Replies

Hello, I am a self-employed UK national. I have friends in Greece and visit frequently. My line of work allows me to work on projects away from home for long periods, so I am able to spend weeks at a time in Greece (months, if I wished) whilst continuing to work. Since I was visiting so often I decided to take advantage of the cheap rental prices in Athens and rent out a small apartment to use on my many visits. Unfortunately, I didn't research this very much - I assumed that as a UK National/EU citizen, I would be able to do this without any real fanfare. The landlord asked me for my tax reference number but I explained that my income and taxes were dealt with in the UK and that seemed to put the question off. But then I tried to get an internet connection/phone connected in the new apartment and cannot seem to do so without a tax number - and getting a tax number seems to mean I will have to do tax returns in Greece and probably employing a Greek accountant. Is this really necessary? I will not be earning money within Greece. I will not be doing anything but spending money in Greece. My accounts and business are all managed in the UK. Further to this, it also seems that I may have to get a residence permit - although I am not sure if I do or not, given that I am not living / working in Greece full time and simply rent an apartment for convenience. I have looked at articles, etc on Tax Numbers, Residency Permits etc but they do not specifically deal with my situation so I was hoping someone here might shed some light on this matter for me.   many thanks.

Replies

Maria M-893021 1401558546

It may be worth asking for advice from one of these English speaking professionals:


http://athens.angloinfo.com/af/430/athens-financial-consultants-and-advisors.html

Newhere-961733 1401626096

Thank you for your input.


Maybe it's different here in Greece; but back in the UK, someone like me doesn't contact any of the businesses on the list you link to. I'm a small, self-employed, sole-trader.


Also, I saw those links previously and assumed they were paid links of some kind.


I was hoping someone here, with direct experience, might be able to offer some more individual advice.

Lancaster-964222 1405779378

Hi there,


I'm not sure about registering for a greek phone number here (and avoiding the tax number) but if you do get a tax number here then, yes you'll have to do your tax returns here. To get a greek accountant to sort it out at the end of the year should cost you about 50 euros + VAT (whatever that's going to be then). Maybe ask the landlord to get the phoneline fixed in his name and add it to your rent or, if you can, offer to pay some or all in advance maybe every 3 months or so.


I went through the resident permit thing too and as far as I could understand, it's not necessary, I did it anyway and it was a headache. Considering you won't be in the country for longer than 6 months you shouldn't worry. As far as I can remember, you are allowed to stay about 5-6 months in the country before you are considered as 'residing' there, check just to make sure, but if you're only staying afew weeks or months a year (ie less than 5) you should be ok. Just to be safe make sure you save proof of your entering and exiting the country (tickets or some bills in the UK) but to be honest I very much doubt that you'll have any issues with a residency problem.


Even if you do stay longer than 6 months you shouldn't have any legal problem staying in Greece as it's part of Europe too, but it may (and probably will) bring back the tax number problem and doing tax returns here.


I hope this helps.


Let me know if I confused you at all.


Sam

Newhere-961733 1405806170

Hi Sam,


thanks for posting.


I've been around the block over this one. Everyone tells me it's a simple matter and necessary, but I've made little progress. I had to visit the local tax office 3 times before I actually managed to see someone and then they told me to go to the tax office in central Athens. I did that but all I came away with was some forms and that, apparently, I have to have a Greek resident as a 'referee'. This has proved impossible, so far!


I created a list of all the local, and some not local, accountants - from online directories as well as this site and others. I had about 50 or so email addresses, eventually. I sent the same email to them all explaining my situation.


About 15-20 replied and of them I got a range of advice and suggestions. A number of them didn't want to help as they did not want to be my 'referee'. Those that said they would do it asked for a lot more money than EU 50 - I mean EU 200+ then more for actually doing any tax returns. Some said I'd have to give them some sort of power of attorney, another said I'd have to register with them at my local police station, and another seemed to think I shoud register for residency... None of them answered all my questions, although they were clearly stated. All of them said I'd have to do tax returns in Greece. Most of them said, in their reply, 'how have you managed to rent an apartment without a tax number?'


Finally, a friend introduced me to a colleague of theirs who is an accountant. He said not to bother with it all as it was all unecessary. He said he'd 'sort out' the phone line/internet connection thing - then phoned my landlord and persuaded him to take cash for rent but nothing has happened about the phone line/internet.


I genuinely have no idea how anyone in my circumstances would make any better progress than I have - without, possibly, spending a lot of money and, basically, taking a 'punt' on whose advice they were going to pay for and live with. I simply do not like the idea of giving anyone any kind of power of attorney. Full stop. And I can fully understand why anyone might be 'cautious' about being my referee, since the implication is that they might become responsible for my tax returns. But with the range of replies I got from such an array of accountants, I have no idea what is necessary to do this 'properly', or if, indeed, it is possible without me taking a 'hit' financially, at least.


I reassure myself that the important thing is that I do pay taxes; but to the UK. And that my circumstances are such that I shouldn't, at any time, 'owe' any tax to Greece. So this is, to an extent, an 'academic' argument. But it concerns me that I am not, currently, conforming to Greek requirements: regardless of whether they make sense to me or not.

Melissa-937019 1413739072

I realise this thread is a few months old now, but I wondered if any progress had been made? 

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