June 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm #236940
Hi, not sure where to put this topic but I need some help from all the expats here! I am about to inherit quite a large sum of money in the UK but I live in Greece. Would it be best to put it into an off shore account? Also if you buy property in Greece how do you go about transferring money from UK ? Thanks to everyone in advance !!
June 6, 2017 at 9:36 am #236941
I have found that Transferwise runs a pretty good service. Saved a load of money sending UK funds to a Greek bank account.
June 7, 2017 at 12:46 am #236942
Giving good financial advice is always difficult, even the experts get it wrong! Trust this post will help without answering your question!!!
There are lots of considerations to take into account. I often read with similar questions, first decide your aims and a priorities rather than putting the method first!
Do you expect to be permanent in Greece or do you plan to go to another country at some stage? If you will continue to stay in Greece, and especially if you currently rent then a monetary transfer and property purchase could be a good move – I’m thinking that you could be affected by any changes that come the way of the Greek economy either way.
Despite the fact that property is relatively cheap in Greece, if you wished to move to, let’s assume,the uk in twenty year time I would bet that your ’emigration’ could be costly? Main risks inflation risk, exchange rate risks and changes to Greek punitive taxation rules as some seem to be done or forced by basket cases. -I ignore the possibility of Greek bankruptcy but then most other North European countries are relatively stable.
Leaving money in the UK may well have tax implications though.
General common financial advice is always have a ready emergency fund (some sort of easy access cash account), minimise debt (unless it is a really cheap mortgage or it is a good investment in your business), ensure you will have a pension (state ones rarely meet the need) and only then use money for investing if you have more than a five year time scale for riskier ones. Unfortunately the latter generally means low interest (but see comment below)
I have no experience of the complexities of mixed country investments but know that there are channel island investment trusts that can pay you a dividend far in excess of savings accounts with long track records.(such as 6% with very little capital gain or 4% and hold their own and more in real terms over !long time frames)
I would hope that you will get some of the longer standing expats such as Grocer to give you some better specific advice. Someone usually comes up trump’s eventually.
I have noted that the telegraph newspaper regularly advertises seemingly excellent companies for doing financial transfers (might be online too)but you really ought to get some advice on how such transfers get treated by the Greek authorities first!!
June 7, 2017 at 11:47 pm #236943
thank you for that!! yes I am permanently in Greece. I worry about putting a large amount in greek banks, or uk ones for that matter !!! I will have to speak to an advisor in uk and greece I reckon. Just wondered what other expats did in the same situation ?? I do realise that things are very different now with brexit and the greek finacial problems. Guess I could just buy property but then I am going to get hammered with enfia. We own one property already and rent another. Will have to think about other ways to spend it !!!
June 8, 2017 at 10:47 am #236944
Hi, personal advice; put most of capital in an offshore account . Keep realistic amounts in greek añd uk. As you know, you must import a certain amount each tax year into greece. Easy to do from offshore or uk. Pay tax in uk not greece, but make sure you make the yearly tax return in greece. Particularly important if you ever sell property in greece as you will be asked for tax certificate to say you dont owe any. Best wishes.
June 8, 2017 at 1:36 pm #236945
Offshore accounts yes, but as Nickanne is a permanent resident in Greece, any tax liability is here in Greece, as is anyone who resides in Greece for more than 183 days per annum. Also remembering that as a tax resident of Greece, legally worldwide income has to be declared, this would include any other income from interest on deposited capital (offshore or otherwise)
I also had to deal with the problem of a large inheritance recently Nickanne…You need the advice of a good independent financial adviser & probably also U.K. accountant. Everyone’s circumstances differ. Don’t accept anything other than expert advice on this matter.
June 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm #236946
Thanks everyone. Sundodger, do you know if there is an amount that you don’t have to declare on in greece? I have always had a bank account in UK but have never declared it! I will definitely have to find a good adviser in Greece , not so hard to find one in uk. It will probably get complicated as I want to buy property too. I am a Greek resident but don’t have Greek nationality even though my husband is Greek. Don’t know if that will complicate things even more !
June 8, 2017 at 4:33 pm #236947
…If it’s in the U.K. The annual Greek tax return does not list as having to declare the deposit amount only interest earned. Obviously any deposit in a current account earns nothing, but loses at the rate of inflation, if not used for other purposes !
If you bring money into Greece and into a Greek account, obviously the tax office can check against declared income and that deposited, if audited. I would advise however, any monies brought into Greece from overseas have a relaxation on capital controls, in that up to thirty percent can be drawn out in cash in a one off transaction i.e. Bring in 100,000 pounds – Draw out equivalent to 30,000 in euros.
Things do get complicated other than this when you come to spend the money over here & all to do with declared & imputed income. Really don’t want to get further into this, as I said, expert advice needed. As a simplified personal experience however…Bought a new car, accountant said declared income did not exceed imputed income by a high enough amount & cost of car would indicate to the tax authority that my actual income must be far higher & I would be taxed on the difference !!! I stated that savings would be used to make up the difference, but he shuddered & said it would cause problems. Problem solved by showing purpose over two tax years ! I told you it gets complicated… I’ve lost the plot myself now 😀
Get a professional!
June 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm #236948
It does get complicated ! I want to use a large sum of it to go towards a house so no idea what that is going to need ! Surely if I can prove it was inheritance I won’t need to have an income to relate to it ?? I have not worked for many years and am on my husband’s tax returns. I will need to get hold of a lawyer when I get back to Greece and see what we can do !!
June 10, 2017 at 10:35 am #236949
After the loss of a loved one it must be difficult to get ‘organised’.
I was even looking into opening several bank accounts in different countries i.e. currencies. No knowledge of investing nor anything that has to do with taxes.
I thought just ‘spreading the risk’ and ‘no confidence in the euro’ it would be a good idea. I gave up as all non-euro countries I tried in Europe had different laws concerning opening a bank account and then all the different banks had their own currency.
For me too investing in bricks was then the best solution.
June 10, 2017 at 11:12 am #236950
yes it is hard, I am still in uk emptying house and doing paperwork etc. It will be a few months yet till everything is finalised so have some time to investigate different ways. Definitely putting some into a house or maybe 2 but I will have to see how that will effect tax etc!!
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