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Old 29.05.2013, 01:01
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Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

So here's an interesting story. Until last year, a Greek citizen that lived and worked in Switzerland like myself, would only have to officially declare that he resides in Switzerland (or another EU/EFTA country whatsoever) to avoid double taxation.

But on May 2012 came the miracle. With a direct order from the ministry of economics, the taxation offices in Greece, do not exempt us from being taxed in Greece despite the fact that Greece has signed a billateral agreement with Switzerland to avoid double taxation. To be exact, we have to file a tax declaration like normal and we are being taxed on our already-taxed income in Switzerland. They just deduct the amount of tax we pay in Switzerland and we pay the rest.

This is unacceptable in every possible way I can think of. The worst is that an average-low income in Switzerland, for example 3000 SFR netto/per month, equals to a rather high income in Greece and is being taxed accordingly. Why the heck am I supposed to pay extra tax for my already taxed income, in a country that I spend only 2 weeks a year for holidays and provides me with.. ehm.. nothing?

The reason behind this change are the well-known problems with the taxation heavens and the people who find a way to cheat through them and avoid paying their tax in Greece. But is this the way to work things out? By punishing every single Greek citizen who works and pays his taxes according to law? This has disgusted the hell out of me and there is no way I'm paying a single penny to them.
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Old 29.05.2013, 01:36
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

I think it's called austerity...Not many Greeks can escape it right now.
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Old 29.05.2013, 01:46
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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This has disgusted the hell out of me and there is no way I'm paying a single penny to them.
Hmmmm - a Greek not wanting to pay taxes?

(Meanwhile a google search has 2013 and 2014 both flagged as Greece having double taxation treaties with 47 countries)
(A further search says we will need an answer to the question whether you are classified as a permanent resident of greece)
(This is a rather more useful link)

Last edited by dodgyken; 29.05.2013 at 02:02.
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Old 29.05.2013, 01:53
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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Hmmmm - a Greek not wanting to pay taxes?
I have already payed my taxes. It's called quellensteuer as you already know.
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Old 29.05.2013, 02:19
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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I have already payed my taxes. It's called quellensteuer as you already know.
But what has not been established is whether you should also pay taxes in Greece.

How many days are you in Greece in a year?

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According to a new tax bill submitted to the Greek Parliament on February 21, 2011, the definition of tax residence is introduced on the basis of OECD Guidelines. The concept of usual (permanent) residence is determined for tax purposes in Greece if someone resides in Greece for more than 183 days in total within the same calendar year. The usual residence is assumed to exist, unless the taxpayer proves the opposite; however, the type of evidence required is not described in the tax bill.

An individual whose usual residence is in Greece and is subject to taxation for global income in a country that has not signed a double tax treaty with Greece, and such country is not on the list of noncooperating countries, is subject to taxation in Greece for the first three years. Therefore, such an individual who is subject to taxation in Greece for income arising in Greece should submit an income tax return.

Only the tax that has been paid in a country with which Greece has signed a double tax treaty will be credited in Greece. This provision does not take into consideration that many Greek residents work in countries with which Greece has not signed a double tax treaty (e.g., FYROM, Serbia, etc.).

If the individual wishes to transfer residence to another country, the individual is obliged to provide evidence, such evidence to be determined subsequently through a Ministerial Decision.

A Greek tax resident cannot be considered to have changed tax residence and become a tax resident of a country included in the list of noncooperating countries issued by the Ministry of Finance. Furthermore, a Greek tax resident who transfers residence or usual residence to a country with a preferential tax regime but retains substantial financial interests in Greece is considered to be subject to tax in Greece for global income for a period of five years after the change in residence. This period commences from the filing of the declaration for the change of the residence. Such zzprovisions may be subject to a Constitutional challenge
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Old 29.05.2013, 02:28
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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But what has not been established is whether you should also pay taxes in Greece.

How many days are you in Greece in a year?

As I said on the first post, I visit Greece only for holidays about 2 weeks a year. I also don't have any other source of income in Greece neither have I land or other type of property although that is irrelevant to my original post. I repeat what the Greek goverment wants to do at the moment is to tax my income which has already been taxed in Switzerland, violating it's own billateral agreements. It's not even a law, it's just an instruction/order from the ministry.

I forgot to mention that this is valid for the first 5 years until they finally "let you go". They use this measure as a mean of control or obstacle if you prefer, to those who try to avoid proper taxation through taxation heavens. In a rather unfair way I think you would agree.
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Old 29.05.2013, 02:47
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

Coming from the US, I find myself envious of your ability to escape after 5 years.
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Old 29.05.2013, 02:55
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

Are you asking for sympathy or an answer?

You have a link to the full EY guide to Greek tax. No one is going to come on here and proffer an accurate evaluation of your tax situation unless you disclose your full income - which no one is asking you to do.

Assuming you have a BRUTTO of 3,500chf per month = 42,000chf per year = 35,000eur

This would give a GREEK tax bill of 7,070eur + solidarity tax (600eur).

You would have paid 6,000chf (5,000eur) meaning a net bill of 2,070eur + 600eur solidarity.

However the KPMG wording is clear that this should apply only to those with substantial Greek holdings.

EDIT:
I note the following from the EY link
Residents are entitled to a credit for foreign taxes paid in a country that has a double tax treaty in force with Greece, up to the amount of Greek tax attributable to the foreign-source income.
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Old 29.05.2013, 08:18
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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As I said on the first post, I visit Greece only for holidays about 2 weeks a year. I also don't have any other source of income in Greece neither have I land or other type of property although that is irrelevant to my original post. I repeat what the Greek goverment wants to do at the moment is to tax my income which has already been taxed in Switzerland, violating it's own billateral agreements. It's not even a law, it's just an instruction/order from the ministry.

I forgot to mention that this is valid for the first 5 years until they finally "let you go". They use this measure as a mean of control or obstacle if you prefer, to those who try to avoid proper taxation through taxation heavens. In a rather unfair way I think you would agree.
Well from this article in something called Greek Reporter it would appear that it is a law and not an instruction and furthermore you are not going to suffer double taxation since as you say you have no income arising in Greece. In fact you are not even required to file in Greece!

If this is all there is then all that is happening is that Greece is getting into line with the test of Europe.
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Old 29.05.2013, 08:35
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

Can you at least add the Horizon cable bill to your expenses on your Greek tax form G-IRS not allow it?

Last edited by kiwiguy08; 29.05.2013 at 09:13.
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Old 29.05.2013, 10:51
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Are you asking for sympathy or an answer?
Neither of these actually. I just wanted to rant about it as I was yesterday informed about the matter and wanted to get it out of me.

Thanx for the usual info anyway.

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Well from this article in something called Greek Reporter it would appear that it is a law and not an instruction and furthermore you are not going to suffer double taxation since as you say you have no income arising in Greece. In fact you are not even required to file in Greece!

If this is all there is then all that is happening is that Greece is getting into line with the test of Europe.
This article is somewhate vague. I got my information directly from my local taxation office, when I gave my residence-proving papers. One supervisor there actually told me that since they have no way to prove that I do not profit any other way inside Greece, I may also have to be taxed which is quite ridiculous as an argument.

Anyhow, for anyone that might be interested, I will tell you when the time comes if I was double-taxed or not.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.12.2014 at 19:27. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 30.05.2013, 10:08
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

Geia sou Michali,

The double taxation treaty between GR and CH means that GR income is taxed in GR and CH income is taxed in CH. This is irrespective of how many days per year you spend in which country.

There are various issues and exceptions but if you're the common case -you are employed by a Swiss company your only income is your salary- they don't apply to you.

It's REALLY that simple. Read article 15 (Eξαρτημένες προσωπικές υπηρεσίες/Dependent personal services) which clearly states :

"μισθοί, ημερομίσθια και άλλες αμοιβές παρόμοιας φύσης που αποκτώνται από κάτοικο ενός Συμβαλλόμενου Kράτους για κάποια εξαρτημένη εργασία φορολογούνται μόνο στο Kράτος αυτό, εκτός αν η εργασία αυτή ασκείται στο άλλο Συμβαλλόμενο Kράτος"

"salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that State unless the employment is exercised in the other Contracting State"

You can find the treaty here : http://www.gsis.gr/gsis/info/gsis_site/ddos/b.html , it's link #15.
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Old 30.05.2013, 10:19
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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As I said on the first post, I visit Greece only for holidays about 2 weeks a year.
Just a thought, have you considered Turkey for a vacation instead?

Turkish Tourism Board
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Old 30.05.2013, 10:39
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Coming from the US, I find myself envious of your ability to escape after 5 years.
I don't know the specifics but yes, I've read the US is pretty much horrible in this regard

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Just a thought, have you considered Turkey for a vacation instead?
Probably not, since he's Greek Michalis is probably visiting friends and family.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.12.2014 at 19:27. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 30.05.2013, 10:45
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Geia sou Michali,

The double taxation treaty between GR and CH means that GR income is taxed in GR and CH income is taxed in CH. This is irrespective of how many days per year you spend in which country.

There are various issues and exceptions but if you're the common case -you are employed by a Swiss company your only income is your salary- they don't apply to you.

It's REALLY that simple. Read article 15 (Eξαρτημένες προσωπικές υπηρεσίες/Dependent personal services) which clearly states :

"μισθοί, ημερομίσθια και άλλες αμοιβές παρόμοιας φύσης που αποκτώνται από κάτοικο ενός Συμβαλλόμενου Kράτους για κάποια εξαρτημένη εργασία φορολογούνται μόνο στο Kράτος αυτό, εκτός αν η εργασία αυτή ασκείται στο άλλο Συμβαλλόμενο Kράτος"

"salaries, wages and other similar remuneration derived by a resident of a Contracting State in respect of an employment shall be taxable only in that State unless the employment is exercised in the other Contracting State"

You can find the treaty here : http://www.gsis.gr/gsis/info/gsis_site/ddos/b.html , it's link #15.
Geia sou Dandraka,

This is helpful indeed and could possibly clear the horizon BUT this exists also: http://www.fle.gr/forj/index.php/eki...11-6631032011-

What troubles me more is the following statement:

Quote:
Περαιτέρω, με τη νέα παράγραφο 6 του άρθρου 76 του ΚΦΕ ορίζεται ότι, εάν ο υπόχρεος σε δήλωση μεταφέρει την κατοικία ή τη συνήθη διαμονή του εκτός Ελλάδας, θα συνεχίσει να υπόκειται σε φόρο στην Ελλάδα, για το παγκόσμιο εισόδημά του, για χρονικό διάστημα πέντε ετών, το οποίο αρχίζει από την υποβολή της δήλωσης μεταβολής της κατοικίας ή της συνήθους διαμονής του, εφόσον ισχύουν οι ακόλουθες προϋποθέσεις:
α) υπαγόταν σε φόρο στην Ελλάδα για το παγκόσμιο εισόδημά του τα τελευταία πέντε έτη, πριν από τη δήλωση μεταβολής της κατοικίας ή της συνήθους διαμονής του, και
β) μεταφέρει την κατοικία του ή τη συνήθη διαμονή του σε κράτος, στο οποίο το εισόδημά του υπόκειται σε προνομιακό φορολογικό καθεστώς, κατά την έννοια της παραγράφου 7 του άρθρου 51Α, όπως τροποποιήθηκε και ισχύει. Σύμφωνα με την εν λόγω παράγραφο, ως κράτος με προνομιακό φορολογικό καθεστώς θεωρείται εκείνο στο οποίο το φυσικό πρόσωπο δεν υπόκειται σε φορολογία ή εάν υπόκειται, δεν φορολογείται εν τοις πράγμασι ή υπόκειται σε φόρο επί του εισοδήματος/κεφαλαίου, ο οποίος είναι ίσος ή κατώτερος με τα εξήντα εκατοστά του φορολογικού συντελεστή που θα οφειλόταν, σύμφωνα με τις διατάξεις της ελληνικής νομοθεσίας, εάν ήταν κάτοικος Ελλάδας, και
γ) διαθέτει σημαντικά οικονομικά συμφέροντα στην Ελλάδα, δηλαδή κατά τη δήλωση μεταβολής της κατοικίας ή της συνήθους διαμονής του:
αα) συμμετέχει σε ποσοστό τουλάχιστον 25% σε εταιρεία που υπόκειται σε φόρο, σύμφωνα με τις διατάξεις της παραγράφου 4 του άρθρου 2 ή συμμετέχει σε ποσοστό τουλάχιστον 5% σε νομικό πρόσωπο που υπόκειται σε φόρο, σύμφωνα με τις διατάξεις των παραγράφων 1 και 2 του άρθρου 101, ή
ββ) το εισόδημα του που προκύπτει στην Ελλάδα υπερβαίνει το 30% των συνολικών του εισοδημάτων ή υπερβαίνει το ποσό των σαράντα πέντε χιλιάδων ευρώ, ή
γγ) η αξία των περιουσιακών του στοιχείων στην Ελλάδα, από τα οποία προκύπτει εισόδημα, υπερβαίνει το 30% της αξίας των συνολικών περιουσιακών του στοιχείων ή υπερβαίνει σε ύψος το ποσό των εκατόν πενήντα χιλιάδων ευρώ.
I don't know wether you understand Greek or not, but long story short, it says that people who want to change taxation residence (or however it's being called) to a taxation heaven country and the tax percentage payed there equals or is less than 60% of the respective percentage in Greece.

This of course is true in my case as the percentage in Switzerland is ~8% (iirc, as all my papers are currently in Switz.) and the respective percentage in greece is over 30% for that amount of money.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

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Just a thought, have you considered Turkey for a vacation instead?

Turkish Tourism Board
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Probably not, since he's Greek Michalis is probably visiting friends and family.
I'm visiting friend and family indeed =]

Last edited by 3Wishes; 02.12.2014 at 19:28. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 30.05.2013, 11:28
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

So from this.......
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To be exact, we have to file a tax declaration like normal and we are being taxed on our already-taxed income in Switzerland. They just deduct the amount of tax we pay in Switzerland and we pay the rest.
..... To this
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The double taxation treaty between GR and CH means that GR income is taxed in GR and CH income is taxed in CH. This is irrespective of how many days per year you spend in which country.
So...... Greece is now implementing a new taxation system that is otherwise in line with the rest of the world..... and this makes Greek citizens feel like they are US citizens.
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Old 30.05.2013, 11:35
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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So from this.......


..... To this


So...... Greece is now implementing a new taxation system that is otherwise in line with the rest of the world..... and this makes Greek citizens feel like they are US citizens.
Where did that came from? Perhaps you don't understand. There is nothing wrong with being taxed for any possible income acquired in Greece. The problem is that we are being double taxed even though there are billateral agreements and treaties. Greece is not U.S. Greece is E.U. in case you forget.

For example I earn 40.000 SFR in Switzerland and I pay my taxes for it in Switzerland. Now, regardless of any possible income inside Greece, Greek goverment wants to tax me for that 40.000 again. How is that in line with the double taxation treaties.. perhaps you would like to elaborate on it.
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Old 30.05.2013, 11:38
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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I don't know wether you understand Greek or not
Από την Κρήτη είμαι

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BUT this exists also: http://www.fle.gr/forj/index.php/eki...11-6631032011-

long story short, it says that people who want to change taxation residence (or however it's being called) to a taxation heaven country and the tax percentage payed there equals or is less than 60% of the respective percentage in Greece.
No it doesn't say that. Note the "και" between the α,β,γ clauses. This is legally important : it means that all of them have to be satisfied. And the key, ofcourse, is (γ) :

Quote:
γ) διαθέτει σημαντικά οικονομικά συμφέροντα στην Ελλάδα, δηλαδή κατά τη δήλωση μεταβολής της κατοικίας ή της συνήθους διαμονής του:
αα) συμμετέχει σε ποσοστό τουλάχιστον 25% σε εταιρεία που υπόκειται σε φόρο, σύμφωνα με τις διατάξεις της παραγράφου 4 του άρθρου 2 ή συμμετέχει σε ποσοστό τουλάχιστον 5% σε νομικό πρόσωπο που υπόκειται σε φόρο, σύμφωνα με τις διατάξεις των παραγράφων 1 και 2 του άρθρου 101, ή
ββ) το εισόδημα του που προκύπτει στην Ελλάδα υπερβαίνει το 30% των συνολικών του εισοδημάτων ή υπερβαίνει το ποσό των σαράντα πέντε χιλιάδων ευρώ, ή
γγ) η αξία των περιουσιακών του στοιχείων στην Ελλάδα, από τα οποία προκύπτει εισόδημα, υπερβαίνει το 30% της αξίας των συνολικών περιουσιακών του στοιχείων ή υπερβαίνει σε ύψος το ποσό των εκατόν πενήντα χιλιάδων ευρώ.
If, like you said, you don't have any income from Greece you don't have anything to worry about. File your tax declaration next month (if you have to, e.g. if you have ownership of a house, land or a car) and declare zero income. You might have to pay some tax for the house or whatever, but that's it.

You do, however, have to go to the tax office (you or someone authorized, I always send my father ) to change your tax address; they'll move you to the tax office for residents abroad (ΔΟΥ Κατοίκων Εξωτερικού). If you need any info on that, please let me know.
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Old 30.05.2013, 11:42
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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Where did that came from? Perhaps you don't understand. There is nothing wrong with being taxed for any possible income acquired in Greece. The problem is that we are being double taxed even though there are billateral agreements and treaties. Greece is not U.S. Greece is E.U. in case you forget.
It was a joke.

The example and geography lesson wasn't necessary either.



It's not a 'problem' by the way. If you earn an income in two countries, then you should pay tax in two countries according to their respective tax laws.

Simple.
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Old 30.05.2013, 11:43
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Re: Greece-Switzerland, double taxation mess.

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Από την Κρήτη είμαι



No it doesn't say that. Note the "και" between the α,β,γ clauses. This is legally important : it means that all of them have to be satisfied. And the key, ofcourse, is (γ) :



If, like you said, you don't have any income from Greece you don't have anything to worry about. File your tax declaration next month (if you have to, e.g. if you have ownership of a house, land or a car) and declare zero income. You might have to pay some tax for the house or whatever, but that's it.

Thanx for taking the time to bother with my case =] Χαιρετισμούς στη Κρήτη!

You do, however, have to go to the tax office (you or someone authorized, I always send my father ) to change your tax address; they'll move you to the tax office for residents abroad (ΔΟΥ Κατοίκων Εξωτερικού). If you need any info on that, please let me know.

If that is accurate then it makes sense. And I'm not saying it's not, but the supervisor at my local taxation office didn't mention that one has to fullfill all those requirements. He kinda let it hanging.

I hope it's like this then. Living with an average-low salary in Switzerland and having to pay 3000 euro per year in Greece just because, would be devastating.
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