By Christos Iliopoulos

There are millions of people of Greek origin all over the world. Very often they seek legal advice on how they can inherit and pass title to their names the property that they are entitled to in Greece. Such property may consist of real estate (lots, lands, houses, apartments), shares, cash (usually bank accounts) or other movables (cars, jewelry, items of emotional value etc.).

If the deceased has died before 1983 the heir must pay no inheritance tax at all! Those who inherit a person who died after 1983 must pay inheritance tax to the Greek state. Such a tax is usually very law, compared to the real value of the property it is being inherited and very often it is estimated between 1% and 5% of the real market value of the property.

Recently the Greek government passed a new law, which results in a significant decrease of the inheritance tax, especially for inheritances worth up to 220,000 euros per heir.

The new scale of the inheritance tax in Greece is the following:

Category A
When the heir is a spouse, a child, a grandchild, or parents of the deceased. For the first 80,000 euros, the inheritance tax is zero. For the next €20,000, the tax is 5% (€1,000), which means for amounts up to €100,000, the tax is €1,000. For the next €120,000, the inheritance tax is 10% (€12,000), which means for an inheritance of a tax value of €220,000, the tax is €1,000 + €12,000 = €13,000 euros. For amounts above €220,000 euros, the inheritance tax is 20%.

According to the previous inheritance tax regime, the amount for which there was not tax at all for the first category was 20,000 euros, while now it has risen to 80,000 euros.

¦t is worth mentioning, though, that when the Greek tax authority evaluates real estate, it uses the tax price of the property. However, the actual market price of real estate property in Greece is usually much higher. This means, that if you pay 5% inheritance tax on the tax price of the property which may be €100,000, in reality you are paying much lower than 5%, since the real market price of the same property usually is not €100,000, but €150,000. This means you are paying 5% inheritance tax on €100,000, while you actually inherit property worth of €150,000.

Category B
When the heir is a grandparent, the child of a grandchild, brother and sister, niece and nephew, step father and step mother, father in law, mother in law or children from a previous marriage of the surviving spouse. For amounts up to €15,000, there is no inheritance tax. For the next €45,000, the tax is 10% (€4,500), which means that for the first €60,000, the tax is €4,500. For the next €160,000, the tax is 20%, (€32,000), which means that for €220,000 tax value of inherited property, the total tax for category B¡¯ is €36,500. For amounts above €220,000, the tax is 30%.

Category C
When the heir is a relative, apart from those who are covered by categories A and B, or a non relative of the deceased, there is no inheritance tax for the first €5,000. For the next €55,000, the tax is 20% (€11,000). For the next €160,000, the tax is 30%, (€48,000). This means that for this category, for an inheritance worth of €220,000, the inheritance tax is €59,000. For amounts above €220,000, the tax is 40%.

The heir must evaluate the inherited property and declare the inheritance to the Greek tax authority within 6 months from the time of death or from the time a will has been published (probated), if the heir lives in Greece, and within one year, if the heir lives outside Greece (or the deceased lived outside Greece). If the inheritance tax declaration is submitted after these time limits, a fine may be imposed. However, the heir can apply for and the tax authority may grant an additional period of three months for the heir to submit the tax declaration for the inherited property without fines.

Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at law, LL.M., in Athens, Greece, specializing in International and European Business Law. For more information about him, see his brief biographical sketch under the HCS section for Contributing Authors at He has submitted many articles to HCS; readers can browse these in the archives section bearing his name at the URL He can be contacted by e-mail at or by phone (from the US) 011-30-210-6400282; mobile 011-30-693-2775920, fax 011-30-210-6400282, or by postal mail at the address: 105 Alexandras Ave., Athens, 11475, HELLAS

HCS readers may wish to view other articles about Greek property laws and taxes in the Greek Laws and Procedures section of our archives at

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