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Are you prepared to pay your Greek real estate taxes?

The whole world has watched the Greek economy's tumultuous rise and fall in recent years. Things have gone up and down dramatically, and while the entire country's financial ruin seemed certain just a short time ago, things now appear to be recovering.

As part of the economic recovery efforts, aggressive personal property and real estate taxation schemes, including those through ENFIA, have been put into place. In the past, the Greek government may have seem less concerned about real estate taxes, but the country's aggressive taxation collection goals (put in place to stave off further damage to the economy) mean that real estate tax returns are of key importance for landowners living in Greece, here in the U.S., or elsewhere in the world.

Millennia of history and culture make land ownership attractive

Being that Greece is a country of such long history and tradition, many Greek families can trace their roots back thousands of years in the same geographical area. Parcels of land, ancestral homes and other real estate are often handed down from one generation to the next, sometimes to family members who have either long since left the homeland or who may have never even stepped foot in Greece. Other people choose to purchase land in Greece due to the country's renowned beauty, culture and history.

Regardless of the circumstances of ownership, and whether they have never seen their property in person or have visited it often, every American owning land in Greece is now responsible for complying with all applicable American and Greek tax provisions. To avoid substantial penalties, property owners must ensure that they have properly paid any taxes and filed all appropriate tax returns with both the IRS and Greece's taxation authorities.

Handling taxation issues from afar

For someone who is unable to travel to Greece to make sure these things are done (and who may not even speak Greek), the prospect of handling tax issues can be daunting. The process can be made much easier, however, with the assistance of an attorney who:

  • Is licensed to practice in both America and Greece
  • Is fluent in English and Greek
  • Has experience navigating the legal and regulatory systems of both countries
  • Is adept at handling unique issues posed by the interplay of complex taxation schemes in both countries
  • Travels often between the two countries (saving you the need to travel yourself to address these issues in person)

Finding an attorney with such an advanced skill set can be very difficult, but the penalties for improper filing and payment of taxes in either America or Greece can be severe. Non-payment of taxes could even, for example, result in the forfeiture or seizure of your Greek real estate. It is definitely worth it to do your research prior to reaching out to a lawyer. You should only trust someone with a proven track record of success handling such complicated international issues.

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Hahalis & Kounoupis, P.C. - Greek Law Group
Phone: 610-628-1336
Toll Free: 877-509-4333
Fax: 610-691-8418

U.S. Offices:
20 East Broad Street 
Bethlehem, PA 18018
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New Jersey
1015 New Durham Road
Edison, NJ 08817
(By appointment only)
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Greece Offices:
18 Valaoritou Street
4th Floor
Athens, 10671
(By appointment only)
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10 Ermou Street
Thessaloniki, 54625
(By appointment only)
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Hahalis & Kounoupis, P.C. - Greek Law Group