Selling a property in Greece

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:14 pm

The fact that it was two cheques for equal amounts also makes sense if the buyers were protecting their Greek tax position. Assuming it was a couple buying the property 50:50 then the tax authority sometimes want evidence that each buyer had transferred funds into Greece.

Warwick

filippos
Posts: 5307
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby filippos » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:38 pm

When we sold our property we were handed three Banker's drafts. One for the amount that the bank was lending to the buyer, the second for the balance of the contracted price, paid from the buyer's bank account and the third payable to the buyer who had to endorse it in our favour. (I'm sure you can guess what the third one was for.) All this,of course, was witnessed by the notary* who logged everything in her mammoth ledger.

*and the buyers, us and our respective lawyers.

Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:02 pm

When I bought the land the agent drew the money I had transferred in cash from his bank account. The contract was read out in Greek by the Notary and translated into English by my lawyer. Present were my late wife and I, the seller, the seller's lawyer, my lawyer, the agent, the Notary and a random priest who wandered in and started going through papers on the Notary's desk. Once the seller, my late wife and I had signed the contract the agent and the seller went into another room where the money changed hands. All very strange.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:38 pm

Kilkis wrote:When I bought the land the agent drew the money I had transferred in cash from his bank account. The contract was read out in Greek by the Notary and translated into English by my lawyer. Present were my late wife and I, the seller, the seller's lawyer, my lawyer, the agent, the Notary and a random priest who wandered in and started going through papers on the Notary's desk. Once the seller, my late wife and I had signed the contract the agent and the seller went into another room where the money changed hands. All very strange.

Warwick


I think this has always been the case and still is. The notary wants nothing to do with the money side of it. For obvious reasons....

Going back to the question of funds transfer from abroad, why would the Greek taxman need to be involved if the buyer lives most of the year abroad, does not work in Greece and is not taxed in Greece? Surely the funds can be transferred direct from buyer to seller in this case? I need to show where the money has originated, but he doesn't need to prove anything to the Greek taxman?

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:32 pm

The problem Andrew is that you and I live in the real world, where all sorts of financial transactions are possible, but the tax man lives in an imaginary world where the tax authority decides what is and isn't an allowed transaction.

The buyer has bought a property in Greece. As far as the tax man is concerned the money used for that purchase must exist in Greece. They do not acknowledge the possibility of a foreign buyer and a foreign seller exchanging funds outside Greece. Where did the money come from? If the buyer cannot prove that he/she brought it into Greece then he/she must have earned it in Greece. If you earn income in Greece you must pay tax on it even if you do not spend a single day living in Greece. That is life in the imaginary life of the Greek tax authority. IT doesn't matter how stupid it is they make the rules.

Warwick

mouche
Posts: 555
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby mouche » Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:53 pm

Is it the tax authorities in Greece that makes the rules and not the elected politicians?

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:30 pm

Kilkis wrote:The problem Andrew is that you and I live in the real world, where all sorts of financial transactions are possible, but the tax man lives in an imaginary world where the tax authority decides what is and isn't an allowed transaction.

The buyer has bought a property in Greece. As far as the tax man is concerned the money used for that purchase must exist in Greece. They do not acknowledge the possibility of a foreign buyer and a foreign seller exchanging funds outside Greece. Where did the money come from? If the buyer cannot prove that he/she brought it into Greece then he/she must have earned it in Greece. If you earn income in Greece you must pay tax on it even if you do not spend a single day living in Greece. That is life in the imaginary life of the Greek tax authority. IT doesn't matter how stupid it is they make the rules.

Warwick


Yes, very true. Don't we know it..... My post didn't make it clear, but I was thinking about the situation where the funds are sent to Greece, not where the transaction is done outside Greece. (I know this was referenced earlier in the thread). Do you think the buyer would be covered if he sends the funds direct to the seller's account? The seller would need this in order to be able to transfer the funds back out of the country.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:45 pm

YoMo2 wrote:...Do you think the buyer would be covered if he sends the funds direct to the seller's account? The seller would need this in order to be able to transfer the funds back out of the country.

Andrew


My understanding is NO, unless the tax rules have changed. For the buyer to prove he/she has brought money into the country the money has to be transferred to the buyer's account. If he transfers it directly to the seller's account then, as far as the tax man is concerned, the seller has brought it into the country. They don't take into account documents from banks outside Greece, proving where the money has come from, only documents from Greek banks proving where it arrived. I am not an accountant or a lawyer but that is what I was told.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:55 am

Kilkis wrote:My understanding is NO, unless the tax rules have changed. For the buyer to prove he/she has brought money into the country the money has to be transferred to the buyer's account. If he transfers it directly to the seller's account then, as far as the tax man is concerned, the seller has brought it into the country. They don't take into account documents from banks outside Greece, proving where the money has come from, only documents from Greek banks proving where it arrived. I am not an accountant or a lawyer but that is what I was told.

Warwick


Well, I'm sure you are right, but it's annoying since the same document from the Greek bank "showing where it arrived" would also show from whence it came. Why can't the tax man acknowledge this? (Don't answer that, :) ). So, if "your" rules apply, we have a situation where it is not possible for both buyer and seller to simultaneously satisfy the tax man's requirements. Brilliant. But not entirely surprising.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:30 am

Joseph Heller was a very profound philosopher?

I'm not sure the documentation does show where it came from, simply that it came into your Greek bank account from abroad. I am sure the bank has a record but it might not be helpful. Suppose, for example, you used a company like Currency Fair to move the money. Typically the bank record would show that it came from that company's account not your account.

Warwick

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:01 am

Kilkis wrote:Joseph Heller was a very profound philosopher?

I'm not sure the documentation does show where it came from, simply that it came into your Greek bank account from abroad. I am sure the bank has a record but it might not be helpful. Suppose, for example, you used a company like Currency Fair to move the money. Typically the bank record would show that it came from that company's account not your account.

Warwick


Philosophy is not my strong suit, as I'm sure you've noticed. Over my head that one.

Fair point about Currency Fair. Although most of the foreign buyers wouldn't be using CF as they would already have euros. Anyway, as you say, it's whatever the tax man says it is.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

Kilkis
Posts: 8775
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:20 am

YoMo2 wrote:...Philosophy is not my strong suit, as I'm sure you've noticed. Over my head that one...


Joseph Heller wrote a philosophical treatise that has become the Greek tax man's bible. It's called "Catch 22".

Warwick

filippos
Posts: 5307
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby filippos » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:17 am

YoMo2 wrote:Fair point about Currency Fair. Although most of the foreign buyers wouldn't be using CF as they would already have euros.
I think you can use CF for a transfer without a currency exchange.

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:41 am

Kilkis wrote:.....Joseph Heller wrote a philosophical treatise that has become the Greek tax man's bible. It's called "Catch 22".


I knew I knew that name. Very apt.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"

YoMo2
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Selling a property in Greece

Postby YoMo2 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:42 am

filippos wrote:
YoMo2 wrote:Fair point about Currency Fair. Although most of the foreign buyers wouldn't be using CF as they would already have euros.
I think you can use CF for a transfer without a currency exchange.


True, I'd forgotten that.

Andrew
"It's all in the implementation"


Return to “General Discussion & News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests