Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

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Carolina
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Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Carolina » Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:13 pm

How Britain leaving the EU affects our lives and rights in Greece.

The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) covers Citizens Rights and has now been signed into law, protecting those who are already legally (i.e. registered) living/working/retired living in the EU.

From tonight we lose our right to vote in local & European elections in our host country.

After 31 December 2020 (end of the transition period) we will become Third Country Nationals in Greece and be required to exchange our EU residence certificates for Biometric Permits.

YOU NEED TO BE IN POSSESSION OF A BEIGE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE OR A BLUE PERMANENT RESIDENCE CERTIFICATE before December 2020 to secure your residence rights after the end of the transition period. The British Embassy in Athens is strongly pushing this message out,

If you have held a beige card for 5 years are more you should upgrade NOW (before end of 2020) to a blue permanent residence certifcate if you have resided for 5 consequtive years in Greece as the blue card permits you more rights under EU law. You will need to show evidence of your residence with utility bills, bank statements or Greek tax returns (for 5 years)

NEW BIOMETRIC PERMITS from Dec 2020
Beige residence card holders will most likely again have to prove health insurance and sufficient resources to change to the new biometric permit, while blue permit holders (permanent residents) should not have to again prove their entitlement, if Greece follows the WA, although the WA does not prevent Member States from deciding to grant more generous rights. . See Residence Rights under https://ec.europa.eu/commission/pressco ... nda_20_104

The AUTOMATIC right to move to live, work or retire in Greece/EU ends 31 December 2020 when UK citizens will no longer have EU Freedom of Movement.

Throughout the transition period, until 31st December 2020, nothing much changes and you can travel back and forth freely between the UK and Greece/EU and/ or work in Greece. You can also move to Greece to live until the end of 2020 but must obtain a registration certificate in order to have the right to stay beyond Dec 2020 and ‘exchange’ that in Jan 2021 to a new Biometric Permit (subject to the conditions above for beige permit holders).


For UK State Pensioners
S1 form holders who have moved to Greece before 31st December 2020 will continue to have life-long healthcare rights provided they remain registered as resident in Greece. This means access to healthcare in Greece will not change for those S1 form holders for as long as they remain resident in Greece.
If you’re (registered) living in Greece before the end of the transition period but you haven’t reached state pension age at that point, you will be entitled to receive an S1 form when you qualify for your UK state pension, as long as you you haven't worked long enough in Greece to qualify for a Greek pension.


The EHIC card for health cover beyond 2020 within the EU comes under the next round of negotiations. Until December 2020 a UK issued EHIC is valid in all EU countries.
ADDENDUM : HOWEVER Article 30 of the WA covers the right to use an EHIC, after Jan 2021, as follows: 1. S1 holders who have a UK issued EHIC will be able to use it across the EU/EEA; 2. People working in their host countries who hold the country equivalent of the EHIC issued by the health scheme of that country (e.g. Greek issued EHIC) will be able to use them in the UK and across the EU.
Pensioner S1 holders will also continue to be able to access UK health care under UK regs, as they can now.'


Married to a Greek citizen? There are restrictions after 2022 if you want to move to the UK with your Greek spouse. They will fall under the much tougher UK immigration laws for third country nationals.



How to obtain a REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ( beige and blue permits) http://www.livingincrete.net/residencepermit.html

How to change a UK DRIVING LICENCE to a Greek Licence http://www.livingincrete.net/drivingincrete.html

How to get an AMKA number (for residents for Primary Healthcare cover in GR) http://www.livingincrete.net/natinsika.html

Withdrawal Agreement six-part informative Guide from British in Europe https://britishineurope.org/

Join the informative FACEBOOK GROUP BRITISH IN GREECE (affiliated with the British in Europe Group) for ongoing updates and info https://www.facebook.com/groups/313197395758514/

Good luck everybody,

Carol
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bobscott
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Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby bobscott » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:10 pm

Thanks for that comprehensive breakdown Carol. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

bobscott
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Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby bobscott » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:10 pm

PS. I like the flag - just noticed it! Bob
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Kilkis » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:55 am

bobscott wrote:PS. I like the flag - just noticed it! Bob


Banksy also did a good one.

Warwick

Carolina
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Carolina » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:09 pm

From British in Greece FB group, Julia Cross:

Living in Greece over six months in every twelve rule.

I got a definitive answer from the British in Europe team. This.... 'if you are absent for more than the permitted periods, you lose your right to residency and would have to reapply under normal TCN rules'. (TCN=third country national = non-EU)

This means that those of us who will have fewer than five years on their new biometric permit should be in Greece for over six months in any twelve or they will lose the permit. Which means that you are probably tax resident in Greece, as the usual definition of tax residency is where you spend over 183 days in the year.

Blue permit holders, who logically will have over five years on their new biometric cards, are allowed to stay up to five years outside Greece without losing rights.

So some of you will have some hard decisions to make. To not apply for the new biometric - but you will only ever be able to spend 90 days in 180 in Greece. Or spend 6 months every year in Greece moving your tax residency until you accrue the five years. Or you can try winging it and hope that the various systems don't synch up (border control, residence and tax) but you will be technically illegal.

Taken from the withdrawal agreement, 'While you are building up your years to five you can be away from your host country for no longer htan 6 months every year without losing your resident status'. (There are some exceptions like child birth and military service)

CAVEAT We are neither lawyers nor accountants. We simply feel these are the questions you should be asking the professionals. Before making any life-changing decision you should consult a professional.

NikkiC
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby NikkiC » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:30 pm

Hi Carolina
We are still trying to sell our U.K. property and hope to have purchase a permanent home in Crete and become residents before the 31.12.20 deadline.

We have already appointed a lawyer in Chania to make our purchase in Crete swifter and smoother - we hope!

Although we are retiring, our private and U.K. state pensions do not kick in for a few years- will this affect us adversely? Also provided we are residents before the deadline, will we benefit from healthcare?

We do not plan to retain a property in the U.K. please can you advise on tax implications in this case? When we become of pensionable age is it taxed in U.K. or Crete or both?

I believe we also need to have a Greek accountant and would appreciate any recommendations.

Any information anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Yin&Yang
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Yin&Yang » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:15 pm

Many, including myself, use Tax Oasis as their accountant; their details are copied and pasted here below:

Atsalakis & Partners - Tax Oasis

“The only office specialized in providing tax and accounting advice to non-Greeks. Accounting, tax advice and business consulting”
Post address:
Kanteraki-Atsalaki Niki or Atsalakis George
6, Tzanakaki str., 1st floor, office Nr. 8, GR- 73134, CHANIA, CRETE, GREECE, tel.:0030-28210-28469, mobile 0030-6944768871, email: atsalak@otenet.gr http://www.cretanaccountant.gr
Someday is now : )

Rick
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Rick » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:09 pm

Living in Greece over six months in every twelve rule

This will become a dilemma, especially for ‘part timers’ with 2nd homes in Crete. Although spending a minimum of 183 days per year in Crete to preserve a biometric residence card is not a problem for most retirees, the ‘catch 22’ is that by being in Crete for this duration (183 days or more) you MUST become tax resident. Currently you can opt out of being tax resident.

Note from 2021, movements in and out of the Schengen zone will be tracked electronically at ports, without the need for passports to be stamped.

The implications are that you will pay more tax on your pension / income / investments originating from the UK when moving to Greek taxation.
e.g. There is no tax free allowance in Greece (currently £12,500 in UK), another example is how a U.K. tax free ISA would be treated in Greece?

For ‘part timers’ who currently spend, say, May to October in Crete, the solution is to change to, say, Feb to Apr and Aug to October, and therefore not needing a biometric residence card at all, but still being able to spend 6 months in Crete.

If everyone with a biometric residence card becomes liable to be tax resident in Greece, how will this be enforced? and what could be the penalties for non compliance?

Also, what are the implications of tax based on the imputed (assumed) income system i.e. owning property, cars an other assets assumes you earn x, and you must pay tax on this amount even if you earn significantly less?

As an alternative, perhaps acquiring a ‘long stay’ Shengen visa could be more of an advantage to a biometric residence card, as you can remain tax resident in your country of choice ??

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Carolina » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm

NikkiC wrote:Hi Carolina
We are still trying to sell our U.K. property and hope to have purchase a permanent home in Crete and become residents before the 31.12.20 deadline.

We have already appointed a lawyer in Chania to make our purchase in Crete swifter and smoother - we hope!

Although we are retiring, our private and U.K. state pensions do not kick in for a few years- will this affect us adversely? Also provided we are residents before the deadline, will we benefit from healthcare?

We do not plan to retain a property in the U.K. please can you advise on tax implications in this case? When we become of pensionable age is it taxed in U.K. or Crete or both?

I believe we also need to have a Greek accountant and would appreciate any recommendations.

Any information anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated

Thanks


Hi NikkiC,
If you are registered as resident in Greece at the end of the transition period - i.e. get a beige permit (currently until the end of Dec 2020) you can then exchange this for a new biometric permit in 2021. If you continue to be resident in Greeece and maintain your biometric permit (spending more than 6 months in Greece in each year) then you will be entitled to receive Greek state healthcare under the UK S1 form whenever you start receiving your state pension. This future right to an S1 and healthcover is covered in the signed Withdrawal Agreement for those who are legally residing in the EU before the end of the transition period.

Before retirement you will most likely need to take out private health insurance for Greece unless you are working and contributing into the Greek system. You will also need to provide proof of health cover to get the beige permit/certificate.

You should register for a beige registration certificate before the end of Dec 2020. This will need to be changed to a new biometric permit in 2021 (no details of that yet).

There is a Golden Visa scheme for those buying property worth over 250,000 euros. This may be available to Brits after the end of 2020, but I expect you would need to ask an immigration lawyer about how this currently works for non EU nationals, and wait for any new Greek legislation to be passed.

Tax & residency - you need to speak to a Greek accountant, take advice from a specialist. I agree with Yin & Yang's recommendation above for Atsalakis.

Carolina
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Carolina » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:48 pm

Rick,

There is a tax free allowance of around 5000 euros per person for Greek tax residents.

Imputed (assumed) income system i.e. owning property, cars and other assets assumes you earn x, and you must pay tax on this amount even if you earn significantly less? The answer is yes.

There don't appear to be any answers yet to your other questions about biometric cards/tax residency or long-stay Schengen Visas.. currently long-stay visas seem to be issued mainly for work purposes.

Rick
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Rick » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:47 pm

Thanks for your speedy response Carolina.

So, for a retiree with a U.K. state pension of £6,720 and an occupational pension of, say, £7,280 Total = £14,000 : In the UK the tax liability would be £300

In Greece, converting the above pension to euros @ 1.15 = €16,100 the Greek tax liability would be €2,220 (20% tax based on €16,100 less €5,000 tax free allowances)

Converting the Greek tax of €2,200 back to pounds @ 1.15 = £1,913
So in Greece, you’d pay £1,613 more tax than the U.K.

Also, factor in that if your imputed income based on Greek assets is greater than the €16,100 you will pay imputed tax on maybe €18,000 although your actual income is less.

I think ‘part timers’ in particular, should give serious due diligence as to weather a biometric residence card will place you financially disadvantaged, and the shengen visa route may prove to be advantageous from a financial perspective, if you want to avoid the 90 day max stay in 180 day rule.

ros21m
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby ros21m » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:54 am

I am resident & tax resident in Greece, however, I still pay tax on my UK Government (Civil Service) Pension in the UK, under the Dual Taxation agreement, my only source of income. I have always been under the impression, that a UK Government issued pension must be taxed in the UK.
Last edited by ros21m on Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BST
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby BST » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:52 am

You are right ros. I checked again this week. Government pensions have to be taxed at source ie the UK. There is other UK income that also has to be taxed in the UK.

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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby bobscott » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:58 pm

ros21m wrote:I am resident & tax resident in Greece, however, I still pay tax on my UK Government (Civil Service) Pension in the UK, under the Dual Taxation agreement, my only source of income. I have always been under the impression, that a UK Government issued pension must be taxed in the UK.


Would be very interested to hear about how you work the Government Pension with the Greek tax authorities. I tried some years ago and the response was 'we will tax you and you will claim back the UK tax you have paid.' To me that was a non-starter. And yes, you are correct. Under the DTA between UK and Greece which predates EU membership by many years, the civil service pension can only be taxed in the UK. How do you get over that one? Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Rick
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Re: Withdrawal Agreement & our Rights - What's covered?

Postby Rick » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:26 pm

The source of the following paragraph is from https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/w ... dex_en.htm

“You are tax resident if you are in Greece continuously for a period exceeding 183 days, including short periods of presence abroad since your first day of presence in Greece. This doesn't apply if you are in Greece for tourism, medical, therapeutic or similar private purposes and your residence does not exceed 365 days, including short stays abroad.”

As previously highlighted by Kilkis, it seems some Accountants are using the above clause (in Greece for tourism, medical or therapeutic purposes not exceeding 365 days) for the purpose of facilitating their clients the avoidance of Greek tax residency. I interpret this clause as a ‘one off’ declaration for a stay in Greece not exceeding 365 days and not intended to be an annual opt out on ‘nil’ based tax returns.

I wonder if Accountants will still try to use this loophole after the transition period ends this year?


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