Zero Tax for Greek Inheritances before 1995

by Christos Iliopoulos

The inheritance tax in Greece is not very high, compared to other countries. Especially the close relatives of the deceased are entitled to a tax-free amount of the estate, for which they pay no taxes at all. How much is this amount is determined by the date of the passing of the deceased.

Until a couple of weeks ago the Greek state did not claim inheritance taxes for estates created after 1989. Under that regime, the heirs of those who passed away until the 31st of December 1989 did not have to pay any inheritance tax, irrespective of the value of the estate and of the assets they inherited.

According to the new Law No. 3842, which became law in 23 April 2010, for inheritances created until 31-12-1994 the Greek state does not claim inheritance tax at all. In other words, if the deceased died until 31-12-1994 his/her heirs do not have to declare to the state what they inherit and do not have to pay any inheritance tax, irrespective of the value of the estate.

This is a very serious incentive for those who are entitled to claim estates, inheritances and other properties in Greece, created before 1995, to settle the estates in Greece without paying anything to the government, even if their share in the estate has a large value for which they would have to pay significant inheritance taxes, if they declared the estate before April 2010.


Castle at Rhodes--image
supplied by Iliopoulos


This is a very serious incentive for those who are entitled to claim estates, inheritances and other properties in Greece, created before 1995, to settle the estates in Greece without paying anything to the government, even if their share in the estate has a large value for which they would have to pay significant inheritance taxes, if they declared the estate before April 2010.

This is a very serious incentive for those who are entitled to claim estates, inheritances and other properties in Greece, created before 1995, to settle the estates in Greece without paying anything to the government, even if their share in the estate has a large value for which they would have to pay significant inheritance taxes, if they declared the estate before April 2010.

All they have to do now is to locate the assets of these estates (real estate, bank accounts, movables etc.) at the local public registry or in other state agencies in Greece, sign the deed of acceptance of inheritance at a Greek notary (with regards to real estate assets) and register the deed with the local public registry and/or with the Ktimatologio.

The procedure can be completed for the heirs without even coming to Greece, if the heirs appoint a Greek attorney as their proxy to act in their interest, locate the assets and sort out the paperwork, the titles and the certificates required so that title passes to the heirs. Once the heirs obtain ownership of their share, they can lease, sell, liquidate, divide, develop or just keep the properties for later exploitation.

It must also be noted that for the vast majority of real estate properties in Greece the yearly property tax is either zero or extremely low, so keeping their plots or lands or even houses and apartments is not costly for the heirs.



(Posting date 18 May 2010
)

Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece, 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 http://www.helleniccomserve.com/christosiliopoulosbio.html. He has submitted many articles to HCS; readers can browse these in the archives section bearing his name at the URL http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveiliopoulos.html. He can be contacted by e-mail at bm-bioxoi@otenet.gr 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

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