If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside. However, you may qualify for certain foreign earned income exclusions and/or foreign income tax credits. Please refer to Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for additional information.
When to file
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., on the regular due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return without requesting an extension. For a calendar year return, the automatic 2-month extension is to June 15. Note that you must pay any tax due by April 15 or interest will be charged starting from April 15.
Where to file
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien (including a green card holder) and you live in a foreign country, mail your U.S. tax return to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
Those Americans who have not filed taxes in the past generally are required to file returns going back six years. This will depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular situation. For example, refer to Information for U.S. Citizens or Dual Citizens Residing Outside the U.S.
Reporting of Foreign Bank Accounts (FBAR) and Foreign Financial Assets
Apart from the requirement for tax returns, the U.S authorities have imposed an additional obligation on U.S. Citizens who have bank accounts outside the United States. Those Americans who are joint proprietors or manage bank accounts outside the United States that cumulatively have a balance over $10.000 on any day of the calendar year must make a deposit statement known as FBAR before April 15 of each year. Depending on the taxpayer’s personal situation, Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets, may also be due (attached to their form 1040). For information on Form 8938 and FBAR please refer to the IRS site. http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-FBAR
According to “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act” (FATCA) all foreign financial institutions are required to identify their clients with U.S. tax liability, report to the competent U.S. authorities information about such clients and assets they hold, and withhold/pay tax at a rate of 30% in certain cases of clients who are deemed as non-cooperating.
Therefore, U.S. citizens who maintain a bank account in Greece may be asked to fill out form W-9 by their bank. Your social security number will be required.
If you do not have a Social Security Number please contact our Federal Benefits Unit for information on how to obtain one.
Every year, usually in February, the Consular Section receives a comprehensive selection of federal (not state) tax forms. You may obtain forms in person between 9:00am and 4:00pm weekdays.
The Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service website has an abundance of online tax information including tax forms, tax help and -ROM products at their website: www.irs.gov
Paying Taxes Overseas – For information on How To Pay U.S. Taxes If You Live Overseas And Don’t Have A U.S. Bank Account, please see our website here: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/foreign-electronic-payments
The rate of exchange for 2018 for tax purposes can be found at IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Yearly-Average-Currency-Exchange-Rates
The U.S. Embassy in Athens does not have an IRS representative; therefore we are not in a position to offer tax assistance.
Taxpayers who wish to hire a professional tax preparer to help them file their returns can find a list of U.S. Tax Consultants . The list is also available from the Consular Section’s Notary Unit.
The IRS office in Philadelphia is the principal office responsible for providing international tax assistance, such as answering questions related to tax law, foreign tax issues, and notices and bills. This office is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time (seven hours behind Athens time for most of the year, and six hours behind Athens time for parts of March and October) and may be contacted by:
Phone: +1 (267) 941-1000
Internal Revenue Service
Philadelphia, PA 19255-0725
Unresolved Tax Problems
If you have tried to resolve a tax problem, but it has not been resolved in a timely manner, or if an IRS action is causing you a significant hardship, you may contact the International Taxpayer Advocate as follows:
Phone: +1-787-522-8601, Fax: +1-855-818-5697
Internal Revenue Service
Attn.: Taxpayer Advocate Office
City View Plaza, 48 Carr 165, 5th Floor
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00968-8000. More information can be found on the IRS website here: www.irs.gov/Advocate
Individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINS)
The IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and resident aliens who are required to have U.S. taxpayer identification number for federal tax purposes but do not qualify for a Social Security Number. A person may request an ITIN by submitting a Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with a certified copy of their passport and other required supplementary documentation. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/General-ITIN-Information
All ITINs not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will expire on December 31, 2018. Additionally, all ITINs issued before 2013 with middle digits of 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 81, or 82 (Example: (9XX-73-XXXX) will also expire at the end of the year. If you have a current filing requirement and your ITIN has expired, IRS recommends you submit your renewal application along with your federal return to prevent delays. For more info please to the ITIN page at IRS.gov
PAYING GREEK INCOME TAXES
Who is subject to income tax in Greece?
Greek income tax is imposed to a) any individual who has his permanent residence or usual place of domicile in Greece b) any individual, regardless of his permanent residence or usual place of domicile, for his income which is produced in Greece.
Usual place of residence is deemed to exist when an individual resides in Greece for above 183 days in the same calendar year.
An Agreement between Greece and U.S. for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Income prevents double taxation by deducting the tax paid in one country from the tax to be paid in the other country. You may obtain a copy of a U.S. income tax treaty at:
Residents of the United States may be asked to present to the Greek tax office the Certification (Form 6166) from Philadelphia in order to claim tax treaty benefits.
Form 6166 is a letter on U.S. Department of Treasury stationery stating that an individual or a company is a resident of the United States for federal tax purposes. The Form 6166 can be obtained by submitting Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification. Please see the following link: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Form-8802,-Application-for-United-States-Residency-Certification—Additional-Certification-Requests .
Form 6166 should bear the Apostille stamp from the U.S. Department of State. Please find information on how to obtain the Apostille at http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/judicial.html
Detailed information on the Greek Tax Code can be obtained from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, 10 Karagiorgi Servias Street, 10184 Athens, Tel: 210-3375000, 3375859, 3375859, website, e-mail email@example.com or from the Greek Consulates You may also visit The International Economic Relations Directorate http://www2.mfa.gr/en/
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY TAXES
A transfer of ownership tax is assessed on the value of the property in accordance with the property value tables established by the Ministry of Finance. In areas where such tables have not been established yet, the local tax authorities appraise the property value. The method of assessment depends on the type of transfer, i.e., purchase, donation, inheritance, etc. Details can be obtained from an attorney or from the Ministry of Finance.