I've just returned from another fact-finding trip to Greece.
On this occasion, I visited the Dodecanese Islands and the Peloponnese.
I have a question on tax.
I know that many UK ex-pats are paying tax in the UK whilst living full-time in Greece. An accountant in Rhodes told me that if I have no income in Greece, and am paying tax in my home country, then I don't have to pay tax in Greece. I asked the accountant if this situation might change. His reply ? A classic 'Mediterranean Shrug', where the shoulders and eyebrows rise, and the face says 'dunno mate'. I'm not sure I want to do my tax planning on this basis
By the way, this gentleman came highly recommended, but I'm not convinced by his response.
I am aware that Greece has a provision which apparently allows people to stay for more than 183 days for 'tourism', 'health' and 'other' (whatever that means) reasons. However, I can't believe the Greek tax authorities will continue to turn a blind-eye to cumulative years of perpetual tourism.
I'd love to live in Greece but am concerned that this loophole, if indeed it is one, will be closed. Greece's finances are in a terrible mess and surely they will bring an end to this practice. After all, the country needs every euro it can raise.
Transferring my tax residency to Greece would double my tax obligations. Ouch!
However, one thing was quite clear. Starting a small business is not a good idea. The accountant gave me a one word reply. Don't!
I'd love to hear your thoughts.