Greece Chases Diaspora Taxpayers in U.S.

Greeks living in or taxed in the United States – who haven’t been notified yet – have until Dec. 31 to send Greek tax offices an IRS certificate proving they are being taxed in America, which has a dual taxation agreement with Greece.

Unless they file, those living in the Diaspora technically face charges of fraud, and official estimate at least 1 million people are affected. The Chairman of the Committee for Greeks Abroad at the Greek Parliament, Adonis Georgiadis, told finance ministry officials to inform those who must file because they haven’t been told yet, he said.

The problem is that it will take people paying taxes in the U.S. up to 45 days to receive the certificate they then must send to the Greek officials. The finance ministry prepared two circulars on May 31 and July 16 but never sent them to their own consulates to inform Greeks living abroad what to do.

Suffering under a crushing economic crisis, Greece is looking for revenues everywhere, except from tax evaders in Greece who are costing the country $70 billion, a bill growing as much as $15 billion a year. Instead, austerity measures have been imposed on workers, elderly and the poor, who have seen their pay cut, taxes hiked and pensions slashed and now the Greek government is looking at Greeks abroad to prove they have paid taxes in the U.S. or they will have to pay in Greece.