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European Commission - Press release

Taxation: Commission refers Greece to Court regarding the discriminatory tax exemption for primary residences

Brussels, 26 March 2015

The European Commission has decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding its inheritance tax exemption for primary residences which is applicable only to EU nationals residing in Greece.

The Greek legislation favours exclusively those taxpayers (heirs) who already live in Greece and who typically are Greek nationals. By contrast, the legislation penalises those beneficiaries who inherit a property in Greece but live outside of the country, and who normally are non-Greek nationals or Greek nationals who have exercised their fundamental freedoms by working, studying or living abroad.

Such a difference in tax treatment constitutes an infringement of the free movement of capital guaranteed by Article 63 TFEU and Article 40 of the EEA Agreement.

The Commission sent a request taking the form of a reasoned opinion to Greece on 20 November 2013 (MEMO/13/1005), asking Greece to amend its legislation. As the national legislation was not amended, the case is now being referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Useful links

More information on the case is available at:

For press releases on infringement proceedings in the areas of taxation and customs see:

For the most up-to-date general information on infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

On the March infringement package decisions, see MEMO/15/4666

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/12


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