You need a tax number, called an AFM, to work legally in Greece.
How do I get the AFM number?
The AFM number will be issued after completing the full registration procedure for asylum seekers who will be fully registered in the Asylum Service after 31-12-2020. The Asylum Service Offices, the accommodation facilities and the Reception and Identification Centers (RIC) will issue the AFM number (VAT).
You can access the new online platform to check whether you have been granted the AFM, your AFM number, and the Tax Office you belong to (DOY office).
AFM number will be valid during the whole procedure of examining your asylum application. However, if the Appeals Authority rejects your appeal and you get a second rejection, the AFM number will automatically deactivate.
The same procedure will apply to asylum seekers who have been fully registered before 31-12-2020 but want to issue an AFM number after that date. The competent authority will be the Asylum Service.
If you are a Ukrainian national and have obtained Temporary Protection status, your AFM (Tax number) is written on the card.
How long does it take to get an AFM number?
For the asylum seekers that will be fully registered after 31-12-2020, the AFM number will be issued instantly after completing the full registration procedure. A tax registration form, including your details and tax identification number, will be given to you with the international protection applicant’s card.
According to the previous procedure, you can expect to wait more than a month to get your AFM number due to a ministerial decision made in July 2018.
The policy change requires tax officers to verify the authenticity of your documents before issuing an AFM number.
The tax officers will contact the regional Asylum Office where your Full Registration Card or Residence Permit was first issued, asking for official verification that your ID document is authentic.
Your proof of address will also be checked to ensure that it’s both a genuine document and that the information provided is valid. This process is a difficult one and can take a while.
- If you provide proof of address issued by an official accommodation facility such as a camp or UNHCR accommodation, the tax authorities will check with the accommodation manager.
- If you declared a permanent address through an official form found here, tax authorities might ask for additional documents to prove your address, such as a utility bill or a solemn declaration by your host or landlord. They may even check with authorities like the local municipality, the police or the regional Asylum Office.
This authentication process could take more than a month. No tax office in Greece can issue an AFM number before officially confirming your documents' authenticity.
The tax office (ΔΟΥ) that your profile account and AFM belong is determined based on the taxpayer's Postal Code.
If authorities find that your documents are fake, you may be charged with forgery and using a forged document.
What do I need to know if I’m already an AFM holder?
According to the policy change in July 2018, asylum-seekers and refugees who already have an AFM will be screened by the tax office to ensure they use authentic documents.
For tax offices across Greece to conduct this screening, refugees or asylum-seekers who already hold an AFM number cannot complete any process at the tax office before tax officers officially authenticate their documents.
The tax office will keep the official verification document in the AFM-holder’s personal file for future reference.
If it turns out that an AFM number was issued with forged documents, tax officers will deactivate the AFM number and inform the public prosecutor, and the holder of that AFM number will face criminal charges.
Accessing the online TAXISnet platform
When you get your AFM number, you should also get a key number ("kleidarithmos" in Greek) which allows you to sign up and use the online TAXISnet platform.
By using this key number the first time you visit the platform, you will be able to set a unique username and a password, which you will need to access in the future for any given reason.
NOTE: Keep your TAXISnet username and password safe, as you will need them for almost all tax office procedures.
For example, through this platform, you can:
- Submit a tax declaration yearly (even one that states zero income)
- Print a tax clearance certificate
- Print an AFM certificate
- Apply for social benefits (if you are eligible)
As this platform is only in Greek and quite complex, you can ask for help from an accountant or a Greek NGO.