A Surprising Experience

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 05 February 2015
A Surprising Experience

Hi XpatAthens. My name is Anna and I subscribe to your newsletter. It’s always refreshing to receive. I had a funny, but good experience happen the last few weeks and I decided I’d write to Jack and tell him about it.

I finally decided it’s time to replace my slowly dying laptop. Seeing as though I’ve been out of work for some time now, buying a new laptop really wasn’t on the list of purchases for the month. But after deciding which computer to buy and researching the best price, my husband and I decided that we’ll do it; really the only way we were able to afford the new computer is with what Greeks call ‘doseis’ (or monthly installments). Most of us know these words all too well.

Anyway, after much paper work (signatures, photocopies of ID cards, credit checks, etc.,) the sales person told me that I’ll receive a telephone call once everything is confirmed so that I can pick up my new computer. Excellent! So I’ll be patient a couple days and then I’ll get my new computer.

A few days later I get a call saying that there is a missing piece of paper in our file (OF COURSE THERE IS…isn’t there always!), and the helpful gentleman, who turned out to be a fellow expat here from Australia, explained to me that I gave them a copy of our 2011 tax return and not 2012. So I went through all my files and papers (you all know what that feels like – frustration at its max!) and found nothing!

I called the store back and told them that there must be some kind of mistake because I gave them the most recent tax return that I had on file…and well we haven’t filed taxes for the 2012 year right? I was very confused. Not to mention impatient ‘cause I was worried I wouldn’t get my new computer.

But the sales person explained to me that I was wrong and that I’ll have to get a copy of the last tax return from the tax office. OMG! You could imagine my blood boiling with the thought of lining up at the tax office for a copy of my tax return. I was ready to cancel the order just because of that.

Thankfully my new Australian friend, the helpful sales person who helped me initially, explained that I must have filed last year’s taxes electronically and that’s why I don’t have a printed copy of the return. He was right, I remember having to stand in a line up last year to get codes for our online taxes. Then he told me that if I log on to the government tax website that I can download a copy of the document and then just fax it to him.

Hmmmm, did he just say log on to a government website and all of my information will be there for download? Of course I didn’t believe him. But since I had the codes in my hand and my slowly dying old laptop was working well with me at that moment, I decided to try.

So yup, right, the website loaded and it was a very decent website. It allowed me to log in with my own username and password and lo and behold there was an option to view and print the PDF version of my tax return. OMG! It actually worked!

I felt like calling everyone I knew who ever had a problem with the ‘Greek system’ (that’s everyone I know who lives in Greece – Greek and non) to tell them that it works! It actually works…!

So this is my story…and now I’m sitting in my living room with my new laptop (paid by ‘doseis’) writing to you and searching for jobs online. Greece is comin’ around. I just know it!

Thanks for reading…


In this weekly space, keep up with ‘Jack’ as he navigates daily life in Athens… Anecdotes, stories, hits & misses, the good, the bad and, well, the rest…