Australia’s Treasurer responds to Steve Georganas MP’s enquiry on Greece tax deal


Australia’s Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers MP has responded to an enquiry by Federal Member for Adelaide Steve Georganas MP asking for an update on negotiations for the Double Taxation Agreement between Australia and Greece.

Minister Georganas wrote to Minister Chalmers in September 2023 asking for an update on the tax deal.

In the letter, Minister Georganas said that after holding a number of meetings in Greece with ministers and politicians, he understood there was “a clear consensus that they are ready to proceed with the necessary negotiations and discussions to bring these matters to a resolution.”

“Given this information and the willingness on their side to move forward, I kindly request an update on the progress of the Double Taxation Agreement with Greece from our end,” Minister Georganas wrote.

“I am eager to work collaboratively to address these concerns and strengthen the ties between our two nations.”

Alison Duncan and Steve Georganas met with Greece's New Democracy MP.
Steve Georganas MP (right) has met with a number of politicians in Greece. He’s pictured here with Ambassador to Greece in Australia, Alison Duncan, and Greece’s New Democracy MP. Photo: Ieidiseis.

In response this year, Minister Chalmers said Australian Treasury officials have been working hard towards a conclusion to tax treaty negotiations with Greece.

“Despite the significant progress made in negotiations, there remains a number of outstanding issues that are being worked through,” the Treasurer said.

“Australia remains committed to concluding negotiations, but I note these agreements can take some time to complete as the pace of negotiations is dependent on the availability and agreement of the negotiating partner and once a treaty has been agreed, it typically takes one to two years to complete the treaty’s implementation processes and to legislate the treaty, bringing it into Australia’s domestic law.”

The Treasurer concluded by stating he appreciates “the strong desire to have the treaty negotiated and implemented as soon as possible.”

“I am aware of the significant cultural and economic ties between Australia and Greece and the potential for our economic relationship to grow once many of the taxation barriers to trade and investment have been addressed through a tax treaty,” he said.

The update comes two years after Australia and Greece held their first round of negotiations for a Double Taxation Agreement in February 2022.

A Double Taxation Agreement is a treaty between two countries where income earned by an individual in one country is not fully taxed by both countries and the tax paid in one country is offset against the tax liability in the other country. In essence, individuals and businesses are provided with greater tax certainty which is thought to encourage increased economic integration through foreign investment and trade.

At the moment, 82,000 Australian nationals hold a value-added tax identification (VAT) number in Greece and 30,000 of them have Greek citizenship, while another 51,000 who have Australian citizenship are also estimated to be descendants of expatriates.

Minister Georganas told The Greek Herald he has been contacted about the tax deal by many of his Greek Australian constituents with investments in Greece, and added he was happy with the response by Minister Chalmers.

“I’m pleased at the response by the Treasurer and am happy to hear we’re close to a conclusion on the agreement between Australia and Greece,” he said.




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