Update: Law 4825/2021 went into effect on September 4, 2021, introducing the concept of “digital nomads” into Greece’s Immigration Code (Law 4251/2014) for the first time and allowing third-country remote workers to relocate to Greece.
The Greek government is attempting to boost the country’s economy by promising specific workers that half of their income will be tax-free.
Two clear truths here: taxes hurt and Greece is beautiful. They may seem unrelated, but if you are a digital nomad looking for your next host country, bells may be ringing by now.
Alex Patelis, the chief economic adviser to the prime minister stated “Technology means we can now choose where we live and work”. Greece “can now offer tax incentives as well as the Sun.”
The center-right government in Greece helps boost the economy by luring workforce individuals and investments back into the country. The Greek government is keen on bringing back foreigners to turn around the country’s performance in the wake of the decade-long debt crisis which cost Greece about 25% of its economic output.
The New Tax Incentive for “work-from-anywhere” Individuals
The new tax initiative promises to only tax 50% of the income earned from those who are self-employed or newly employed in positions created in Greece in 2021.
Greece currently applies a tax rate of 44% for any earnings over €40,000. The new incentive will apply for a maximum of seven years for any worker who wants to move their tax base to Greece, regardless of their nationality or job type. The offer will also be valid to Greeks living abroad if they return to their home country.
The Reason Behind the Incentive
According to the European Commission, Greece faces a further 9% decline in the gross domestic product in 2020 due to COVID-19. The unemployment there is expected to reach around 18%, which is much less than the 30% levels seen at the peak of the economic crisis, yet still one of the highest numbers in Europe.
This is why the Greek government has been offering various incentives and programs to attract foreign investors and retirees. There is already a successful residence by investment program called Greece Golden Visa in the country. This program has attracted many investors to Greece by offering a permanent residence there in exchange for an investment in real estate. It has also started working on an initiative that offers flat tax rates for pensioners in an effort to lure pensioners into the country.