Inheritance Tax in Greece

The time limit to file the inheritance tax declaration to the Greek tax office is six months, if both deceased and heirs are based in Greece. However, if either the deceased lived abroad, or the heirs are residents outside of Greece, the time limit is extended to 12 months after the passing of the deceased. If there is a Will, the time limit starts from the day of the probation of the Will. Estates which are filed at the tax office after the time limit has expired may have to pay small fines, depending on the length of the delay of filing.

According to article 29 par. 1 of law no. 2961/2001, the beneficiaries of the inherited property (heirs, legatees, shareholders and any persons who acquire property through inheritance) are classified into three categories:

The first category consists of a) the spouse of the deceased, b) the descendants of the first degree, c) the descendants by blood of the second degree d) the ascendants by blood of the first degree. In particular, with regard to the adopted descendants, the law stipulates that they are to be treated as natural children. In exceptional circumstances, the Head of the Public Financial Services may consider that such children cannot be treated as relatives, if he is informed that the adoption process was carried out with the sole purpose of circumventing the provisions of law no.2961/2001.
2. The second category includes a) descendants of the third and subsequent degrees, b) ascendants of the second and subsequent degrees, c) voluntarily or judicially recognized children against the ascendants of the father who acknowledged them, d) descendants of the child that was voluntarily or judicially recognized against the father who recognized the former against the former’s ascendants, e) the siblings, f) the collateral blood relatives of the third degree, g) the stepfathers and stepmothers, h) children from the previous marriage of the spouse, i) the children by marriage (groom, bride) and j) the ascendants by marriage (father-in-law, mother-in-law).
3. The third category consists of any other person.

For the spouse and children of a deceased, who has passed away after 2010, the tax - free limit is 150,000 euros for each heir. For the next 150,000 euros, the inheritance tax is 1%. This means that if the child inherits property worth of 250,000 euros and the deceased passed away after 2010, the heir will pay 1,000 euros as inheritance tax. If the child's share is 300,000 euros, the child will pay 1,500 euros.

However, the inheritance taxes which the next of kin or heirs may have to pay is estimated after considering several facts, like the date of death of the deceased, as tax rates change every few years, the degree of relation of the heir to the deceased, whether the estate is filed at the tax office on time or after the expiration of the time limit, the nature of the assets, possible debts on property taxes etc.

Finally, if the deceased had passed away until the 31st of December 1994, the inheritance tax is abolsihed and irrespective of the value of the estate, no inheritance taxes are to be paid, at least according to the rules which apply today.

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Iliana – Kalliopi Kokotini was born in 1989 in Athens, Greece. She is graduate of the Law School of Democritus University of Thrace, (University of Komotini), Greece. She also hands a Master’s degree (L.M.M.) from the Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini with specialization in Criminal Procedure.

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