By Christos ILIOPOULOS*
Athens, 1st May, 2023
The Greek government has now started uploading to the Greek tax authority website the 2023 ENFIA, or annual property tax, for all property owners. There is no letter, or e-mail notice to be sent to you with the amount you have to pay. Each owner of any type of property, meaning plots, lands, houses, apartments, parking lots, right to build on top of the last floor or lofts, must go on line to his/her internet tax page and find how much is the amount to pay for the year 2023.
In order to do this, the property owner must know his/her username and password, so they search at the internet tax page for the amount of tax. Very often, property owners who live outside of Greece, wait for their proxy or tax representative in Greece, to notify them about their annual property tax. Their proxy is usually a lawyer, an accountant, a relative or a friend, who live in Greece and are familiar with the on line tax page of the Greek tax authority and, most importantly, know the username and password of the foreign resident. The foreign resident who owns property in Greece must contact now, early May 2023, their tax representative in Greece to ask how much is the property tax they have to pay. Then, they must arrange how they can pay in practice their tax.
The tax is paid either in one lump sum by the end of May 2023 (31st of May) or in ten monthly instalments, starting from the 31st of May 2023 and finishing at the end of February 2024. You do not get any tax deduction, if you pay in one lump sum. If the first instalment by the end of May 2023 is not paid, the increase is usually very small. However, if many months pass without paying an instalment, the accumulated unpaid tax goes higher, especially if it is not paid for one or more years.
If you do not pay your annual property tax, which in Greece is called ENFIA, you cannot sell or even rent / lease your property and in most cases, you can’t even initiate legal action at the courts in case your property is trespassed by squatters or others who may claim your property as theirs. An estate cannot be settled and the assets of the inheritance can’t pass to the heirs, before the property tax (and the income tax) of the deceased is paid. The heirs must pay their own property tax for the years that have passed from the time of death of the deceased until they formally sign the deed of acceptance of inheritance. However, the heirs should not be intimidated at all by the taxes in Greece. First, the annual property tax is very low, compared to most other countries which have some type of annual property tax.
Second, the inheritance taxes are also low. For a deceased who passed after 2010, each direct heir does not pay inheritance tax for a share of up to 150,000 Euros. For instance, if the deceased (Greek citizen) died without a Will, and is inherited by three children and no spouse, each child inherits 1/3 of the estate intestate and is entitled to an estate share of up to 150,000 Euros inheritance tax free. Finally, every property user in Greece who has not settled an estate or obtained ownership by a formal deed, must at least declare the property as his own at his E9 tax form and pay the annual ENFIA. This will help him/her obtain ownership after ten or twenty years of possession of the property, with the intention of ownership. Declaring it to the E9 tax form and paying its annual ENFIA, is good evidence for the intention of ownership.
*Christos ILIOPOULOS, attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece, LL.M. www.greekadvocate.eu, e-mail: [email protected]