By: Eli Doron, Adv; Yaron Tikotzky, Adv, (C.P.A); Dr.Slomo Nass, Adv, (C.P.A)
Assisting Foreign Residents Seeking to Locate, Purchase and Rent Real Estate in Israel
Georgia has over 50 million residents, sprawls over 69,700 square km, and has a semi-republican presidency governmental system. Recently, after overcoming and quieting civil risings, Georgia has won its independence and foreign investment has thrives since.
Georgia is extensively active in promoting foreign investments, and a tour around the rapidly growing cities, which begin to shine of skyscrapers, hotels and residential complexes, proves her efforts are successful. As a result, many Israelis have begun privately purchasing real estate in Georgia, taking advantage of the tax exemption for privately purchasing land.
According to the law in Georgia, a company will be considered a Georgian resident for tax purposes if it has active activity in Georgia and/or its effective management is done in Georgia. An individual will be considered a Georgian resident for tax purposes if he has been in Georgia for at least 183 days of the tax year. Foreign residents, companies and individuals, are subject to tax only for income derived from inside the Georgian borders, including for real estate. Since January 1st, 2008, the company’s income tax has been decreased from 20% to 15%, and the individual’s income tax was raised from 12% to 25% (this applies also to capital income).
However, the Georgian law enables the individual, who privately purchases real estate, to enjoy major tax easements. That is, an individual who privately purchased real estate will be able to sell the land after a minimal period of two years ownership – tax-free. For sake of comparison, the Israeli law exempts these sales only for residential apartments and only after a minimal period of four years ownership or maximum one and a half years if the individual selling does not own another apartment.
In addition, the real estate prices in Georgia are also a significant incentive to privately purchasing real estate in Georgia. For example, whilst 300 square meters in Tbilisi, the capital, in the ancient square of the city is estimated to be worth approximately 600,000 USD; a 5 bedroom private house on ¼ of an acre in the city of Batumi (in the Western mountains), walking distance from the black sea is estimated to be worth approximately 120,000 USD alone, and a two bedroom apartment in Tbilisi on 51 square meters is estimated to be worth only 39,000 USD.
Finally, the Israeli investment in growing nations has become a large phenomenon. The above information can clearly point out why Israelis may very well prefer investing in Georgia, were they can (under the above mentioned conditions) buy and sell real estate with great profit without being taxed in Georgia what-so-ever.