Greek–Americans who reside permanently in the U.S and who are also U.S citizens (or dual citizens with Greece) have substantial tax issues in both countries to deal with. These issues arise also with regard to Greek income from real estate, or bank accounts, or business activities. Careful attention must be paid to a variety of Greek taxes, including annual income tax declarations; VAT taxes (φόρος προστηθέμενης αξίας); a new Greek real estate tax (paid through the electric bill-DEH); significant real estate transfer taxes, inheritance taxes and gift taxes.

Pursuing to U.S law, American citizens and permanent residents must declare on their U.S tax returns all Greek source income. They then must take the tax credit and, with regard to certain income, take advantage of the Double Taxation Treaty between the United States and Greece (Σύμβαση Αποφυγής Διπλής Φορολογίας, Ελλάδα-ΗΠΑ). Greek income must be annually declared on the U.S tax returns, including moneys from employment in Greece, interest on bank accounts, and capital gains income as well as rentals. Most likely, the U.S. foreign income tax credit and exclusion will exclude most foreign income, but there are serious penalties for failing to declare same.

Due to new Greek imputed income rules, U.S. permanent residents may need to prove to the Greek Tax Authority their foreign residence status in order to avoid imputed income tax liability in Greece – solely due to owning real estate. Filings must be made in Greece, accompanied by Form IRS 6166 (obtained by IRS Form 8802) along with the Greek Double Taxation Forms.

In addition, foreign bank accounts in Greece must be declared in the U.S (if they are of a certain size to exceed $10.000 at any time during the year) pursuant to the new IRS FBAR FORM rules. Severe penalties can be imposed if these bank accounts are not identified. Speaking of bank accounts secure new restrictions require multiple documents for U.S. residents who wish to open Greek bank accounts, including potentially foreign utility bills; tax returns and other Apostilled documents.

With regard to Greek inheritances, inheritance tax returns must be filed in Greece, which correctly identify the tax value of Greek inherited property as per of the proper handling of an apodohi klironomias or U.S. or Greek Will recognition and/or publication. For U.S. residents, there is a 1 year period to file inheritance tax returns (which are filed in the Greek Tax Authority for foreign residents). Critical also is a one year renunciation period (αποποίηση) for U.S. residents – which may avoid double taxation.

Greek gift tax returns (for gifted property) operate essentially on the same tax schedule as inheritances. As above stated for Greek income realized during Greek estate administration the treaty for the application of double taxation/convention between Greece and the United States requires certain Greek forms to be submitted to the  Hellenic Tax Authority in conjunction with IRS Form 8802 dealing with residency certification by the IRS and IRS Form 6166 issued by the IRS to formally identify to Greece that an individual is subject to U.S tax by reason of residence citizenship etc…

Our firm has been dealing with these complex U.S – Greek tax matters for over 25 years. In addition to having top tax attorneys in Greece, the U.S law group has an attorney who holds an LLM in U.S. Tax Law (the highest U.S. tax degree available and the most specialization in tax a U.S. attorney can have). Whether a client is a U.S residing Greek American with significant tax issues in both countries; or a Greek American leaving to work in Greece and concerned about U.S taxes, our Firm is more than able and capable to deal with and handle all such tax matters. This includes all necessary filings, corrected and amended tax returns and the seeking in all ways possible to avoid tax penalties.