In Greece, every taxpayer is assigned a unique identifier known as a tax number or “AFM” (Aριθμός Φορολογικού Μητρώου) by the Greek tax authorities. This number is used for various purposes, such as paying taxes, opening a bank account, and conducting business transactions. For individuals who are foreign or Greek residents living abroad, obtaining an AFM is crucial if they plan on purchasing property, retiring, studying, or conducting business in Greece.
What is an AFM in Greece?
An AFM is a unique 9-digit identification number the Greek Tax Office assigns individuals. The AFM tracks an individual’s tax obligations, payments, and other financial transactions with the Greek government.
Why do I need a tax identification number in Greece?
Foreign nationals will need an AFM to conduct any financial transactions in Greece, including purchasing a property, opening a bank account, obtaining a Greek driver’s license, or registering a business. Additionally, an AFM is required to obtain a Greek residency permit and to file taxes in Greece.
How can I get a tax number in Greece?
The process for obtaining an AFM can vary depending on the individual’s citizenship, age, and other factors. However, in general, the following steps are required for a non-Greek resident:
- Book an appointment with the non-Greek resident tax office in Greece: The first step is to book an appointment with the competent tax office (Δ.Ο.Υ.). It is necessary to visit in person the competent office and you will need to bring your passport or another form of identification and the application hereunder filled in. You will also need to appoint a tax representative who resides in Greece such as a lawyer or an accountant.
- Complete the application: You must complete an application for an AFM, in Greek, which will require your personal information, including among others your name, date of birth, and contact information.
- Submit the application: Once you have completed the application, you will have to submit it to the tax office along with your identification documents.
- Your tax identification number is issued on the same day.
Can I apply for an AFM remotely?
Yes, it is possible to apply for an AFM remotely by appointing a representative, such as an accountant or lawyer, to apply on your behalf. Your representative must provide a power of attorney and your identification documents to the tax office.
Understanding the Use of Tax Numbers in Greek Property Purchases
It is worth noting that getting an AFM tax number as soon as possible is recommended, especially if you are planning to buy property in Greece. This number is required for all financial transactions related to the property, including paying property taxes, such as ENFIA, and obtaining a property title. Obtaining a tax number can take some time, so buyers and sellers should anticipate this request or risk having the transaction blocked.
Your Greek Tax Number: A Key to Navigating Taxation in Greece
Foreign nationals or Greeks living abroad must obtain an AFM to conduct financial transactions or establish a legal presence in Greece. The procedure for obtaining this tax number is relatively simple and can be done remotely. However, if you have difficulties getting this number, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer who can assist and represent you.