Living in Greece info updated

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Voni
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:20 pm

The Uk have updated their living in Greece guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-g ... =immediate

Voni
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:31 pm

A further update just released:-

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-g ... =immediate

From what I can see not much is new - there is info on the UK Nationals Support Fund and some new wording around Greek residency it says what I think has previously been published:-

“To confirm your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you will need to obtain a new residence document. The Greek authorities have not yet announced the process to obtain this new residency document. We will update this guidance as soon as information is available.“

It will be interesting to get confirmation of what exactly the UK government deems to be “legally resident” for the purposes of cover from the Withdrawal Agreement. It states in this document:-

“Pensions
You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.“

I wonder therefore if this could be interpreted as unless the DWP have been formally informed that you are resident in Greece before the end of this year you may not be entitled to protection under the WA for future state pension and transfer of healthcare. Just a thought to raise for those who have been keeping a foot in both camps...

Any views?

Keltz
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Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Keltz » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:21 pm

That is a worrying statement as it ties the Greek authorities implementation of the new residence permit to our rights under the Withdrawal agreement and leaves open the possibility that if Greece delays implementation of the “new residence document” that we will not be covered by the Withdrawal agreement on January 1st 2021.

It has always been my concern that the words “legally resident” are open to interpretation and legal challenge.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:38 pm

Legally Resident in Greece is a matter of satisfying the Greek authorities not the UK authorities. If you have notified the Greek authorities that you are living in Greece for more than 3 months, you have provided them with the requisite evidence under whichever of the 3 categories you are resident and have obtained a Residence Certificate proving that you have registered your residence then you are legally resident in Greece. For those who have not been here for more than 5 years, if you fail to satisfy the conditions for residence at any time or leave the country for more than 6 months* in any year then you would cease to be legally resident. You can change the conditions under which you qualify. For those who have been resident here for more than 5 years those conditions no longer apply. If you left the country for more than 5 years you would lose your legal entitlement to residency.

It is entirely up to Greece what document they choose to accept as proof of residence and absolutely nothing to do with the UK. If, for example, the Greek authorities decided to simpl;y continue recognising the existing Residence Certificates or perhaps tell UK residents to go to the police station where they registered and get a stamp on their EU Residence Certificate saying "Legally resident under the Withdrawal Agreement not as an EU citizen" then that would be up to the Greek authorities. Every EU country is making its own arrangements. What the Greek government decides to do and when it decides to do it with regard to residence documentation cannot affect your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Warwick

* It is possible to leave for up to 12 months in a single year for a very limited range of reasons.

Voni
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:57 pm

As Greece has adopted a declaratory system relating to residency it is up to Greece to decide if they want UK expats to re-confirm residency after the UK leaves the EU. The deadline for this is six months after the end of the transition period but this can be extended by the host country if they have valid reasons for doing so. Indeed I understand that France who has opted for the more complex/difficult constitutive system have already extended their deadline to October 2021 due to delays in processing applications and Covid.

Section 18,1 b of the WA refers....

“the deadline for submitting the application shall not be less than 6 months from the end of the transition period, for persons residing in the host State before the end of the transition period“

Please note I am referring here to a re-reconfirmation of residency (if required) it is important that you must you must already have been registered for residency before the December deadline to come under the WA.

Voni
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:33 am

What Warwick has said regarding the Greece side of residency is of course correct.

The point I wanted to flag was for the benefit of those expats who in the past may have “flown under the radar” and those who have not yet claimed their state pension or entitlement to reciprocal healthcare.

My concern is that although registered in Greece and legally resident in the eye of the Greek side of things, when it comes to claiming anything from the UK after BREXIT (Remember this can also affect some benefits) unless the various UK agencies have been officially informed of having moved abroad they may take the view that you are not entitled to protection under the WA.

Of course there is no precedent for this on which I can give an informed view, just a concern about the way then UK government are behaving at the moment, anyone got any views?

Keltz
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Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Keltz » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:42 am

Continued entitlement rights to State Pension and Healthcare applies to UK nationals registered in Greece before 1/1/21 regardless of when the pension is claimed bearing in mind that reciprocal Healthcare in Greece only applies when you claim your UK State Pension.

Your concern may be more to do with Tax Residency which I understand is not part of the Withdrawal Agreement as UK and Greece already have a DTT ( Double Taxation Treaty ) in place.

Voni
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:10 pm

Quite correct Keltz but a scenario to ponder.....

A uk expat not yet of retirement age lives in Greece with a valid residence permit but has failed to inform the DWP or the Inland Revenue that they have moved abroad before December 2020 - although in government guidelines, it’s never really been that high of a priority whilst we were in Europe to make such notification.

Some time later, after the December deadline, they reach retirement age and make a claim for pension/reciprocal healthcare.

The DWP check their records which do not show a date when the person moved to Greece..... the only date they have is that of the claim which is outside the transition period.

Could it therefore not be argued that the UK government agencies would have justification in refusing, for example a claim for reciprocal healthcare on the grounds that the claimant failed to inform the relevant government departments of a change of residence?

As I have said I have no precedent upon which to make an informed decision about this type of scenario and wouldn’t be surprised if it has not even been considered yet by the uk government.

Keltz
Posts: 216
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:53 am

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Keltz » Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:30 am

It is my understanding that proof of legal residency is obtained by having the correct residence documents from the EU country you are now living in within the timescale defined by the Withdrawal Agreement. Hence reference in the updated guide to Greek authorities procedures.

If it is subsequently found you were claiming domicile in the UK during that period while living in Greece, there may be implications for claiming benefits available only to UK residents although I don’t know what those might be or whether the UK would be that interested.

I remember from a conversation ages ago with Kilkis said that as long as you pay taxes due, HMRC do not care where you live. I have found this to be true.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:18 pm

Taxation is a bit odd. Everybody must be tax resident somewhere. For example if you spent 2 weeks in France then less than 183 days in the UK and less than 183 days in Greece you couldn't claim to be tax resident nowhere. As far as I can tell, rather like nationality, there is nothing to stop you having dual tax residency?

I declare myself as tax resident in Greece and not tax resident in the UK. Greece obviously has no problem with that because I live here more than 183 days each year and it means I pay tax on my worldwide income here. HMRC has no problem with that because I only visit the UK for at most 5 weeks in a year, usually a lot less, e.g. 2 weeks for the past several years and this year zero. Unless I provide Double Taxation Forms from the Greek tax authority, proving I am declaring income here and it is being assessed for tax here, HMRC will continue to tax any income arising in the UK. Getting such DTA Forms out of the Greek tax authority is not easy and it is done for each individual income stream, so I only got DTA Forms for my two main pensions. My other pensions and interest remain taxable in the UK even though they are declared here and assessed for tax here. I chose for which income streams to get the DTA Forms so that the total income left taxable in the UK was less than my personal allowance. It is assessed for tax but the tax owed is zero. HMRC has no problem with me having two income streams marked as NT, i.e. Non Taxable, and the rest assessed for tax.

I have accounts with two UK banks. With one I use my Greek address and the other I use my son's UK address. When the first queries me about my tax residency, as they do from time to time, I tell them that I am tax resident in Greece and give them my Greek TIN, i.e. AFM. When the second asks me I don't fully complete the form but instead I send them a letter. I tell them that I spend some of my time in the UK and some in Greece, which is true. I tell them that when I am in the UK that is the address where I live, which is true. I tell them that I have income streams in the UK and income streams in Greece, which is true. I tell them that some income streams are taxable in Greece and some are taxable in the UK, in accordance with the DTA, which is true. I give them both TINs, i.e. AFM and NI Number, and tell them to provide legally required information to whichever tax authority they wish or both. They record me as having Dual Tax Residency.

As far as I can see the Withdrawal Agreement requires you to meet the legal requirements for residency in the country where you live before the end of 2020. What happens after that, with respect to documentation, is down to the country where you live and nothing to do with the UK.

I can see a possible problem in Greece for people claiming residency rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, i.e. I am living here for more than 183 days in every year, and also claiming tax residency in the UK, i.e. I am living here for less than 183 days in every year. Whether that problem will materialise depends on the communication between different Greek government departments so we cannot know until it happens. I certainly know of accountants, who keep their clients registered as tax resident in the UK, who have been asked by their clients if they should transfer their tax residency to Greece because of the Withdrawal Agreement and have told them not to. Whether that is because they are really clued up and know that it is not going to be a problem or because they don't really understand the implications of the Withdrawal Agreement I have no idea. Time will tell. My guess would be that the worst case scenario is that they need to transfer their tax residency when they try to get the new documentation but I am not saying that will happen. Greece seems to want us here so I cannot see it leading to people losing their residency rights.

Personally I tend to follow the rules although not necessarily in a timely fashion. I informed HMRC as soon as I moved to Greece because we were having correspondence about tax owed, or to be precise not owed but being claimed, so they needed my new address. I informed NHS that I had moved to Greece a couple of years later when I sold my house in the UK and no longer had a UK address. I informed DWP about 6 years after moving when I decided to pay voluntary NI contributions to protect my UK State Pension. I am not sure why people want to avoid telling these organisations? For example you can tell HMRC your Greek address but tell them that you intend to remain tax resident in the UK and they will be delighted. They are not going to object. Tax authorities tend to start digging their heels in when you tell them you are not going to be tax resident there.

You can't get into any trouble doing everything the way it is supposed to be done.

Warwick

TweetTweet
Posts: 365
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:35 am

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby TweetTweet » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:34 pm

Keltz wrote:It is my understanding that proof of legal residency is obtained by having the correct residence documents from the EU country you are now living in within the timescale defined by the Withdrawal Agreement. Hence reference in the updated guide to Greek authorities procedures.

If it is subsequently found you were claiming domicile in the UK during that period while living in Greece, there may be implications for claiming benefits available only to UK residents although I don’t know what those might be or whether the UK would be that interested.

I remember from a conversation ages ago with Kilkis said that as long as you pay taxes due, HMRC do not care where you live. I have found this to be true.


I think domicile and residency are not the same exactly (but often possible erroneously used inter-changeably).

Sadly I suspect many people claim x, y and or z without legal rules entitlement.

Clearly I was a very goody goody - a month before I departed Blighty, I informed her maj's gov that I was leaving and had no intention of returning (as a resident). That was +27 years ago.

Kilkis
Posts: 12066
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Kilkis » Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:05 pm

TweetTweet wrote:...I think domicile and residency are not the same exactly (but often possible erroneously used inter-changeably)...


True. Residency is where you live. Domicile is where you "belong". For the vast majority of people they start out Domiciled where they are born. To change your residency you simply need to move somewhere else. To change your Domiciliary status you have to actively renounce your current Domiciliary status and claim a different Domiciliary status. The country where you are renouncing it can challenge it. For example if you tried to renounce Domiciliary status in the UK for some tax reason HMRC might argue that, if you have family ties in the UK, have income streams in the UK and have bank accounts in the UK then they still consider you Domiciled in the UK. It would not matter where you are resident.

As a specific example I think it is Domiciliary status that determines what part of a deceased person's estate is taken into account for Death Duties. If the deceased was Domiciled in the UK then the value of their estate worldwide is taken into account. If they were not Domiciled in the UK then only the part of their estate that exists in the UK is taken into account. This is irrespective of where they were resident. Similarly the rule that allows a spouse to inherit the whole estate of their deceased partner without paying death duties and without using their free allowance is dependent on Domiciliary status not residency.

Warwick

Voni
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:33 pm

Re: Living in Greece info updated

Postby Voni » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:40 am



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