Author Archives: LegalPaphos

IMMOVABLE PROPERTY TAX CYPRUS

Cyprus Immovable Property Tax

Cyprus Immovable Property Tax

It’s now the time of year again in Cyprus when immovable property tax needs to be paid by all those who have a contract of sale or hold the title deeds to their properties.

If the 1980 value of the property shown on the title deed is under Euros 12,500 (Twelve Thousand Five Hundred) then no tax is due.

Immovable property tax should be settled by 30th November 2015 if you want to take advantage of the discounts available. Payments made before 30th November 2015 will benefit from a 20% discount if paid online or through the bank. If paid in person at the tax office the discount will be 17.5%. Payments made after 30th November 2015 will be subject to a penalty.

If the contract of sale or title deed is in two names then the 1980 value will be equally divided between the two e.g. if the 1980 value on the title deed is shown as Euros 24,000 and the property is jointly owned the tax due will be based on Euros 12,000 each (a half share of the property). As it is under the taxable amount of Euros 12,500 no tax will be due.

If in any doubt as to whether or not you owe immovable property tax, it is always best to visit your local tax office with a copy of your contract of sale and/or title deed for clarification.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)

 

Energy Performance Certificates have been required on all properties in Cyprus since 2012 – from landlords to new tenants and from sellers to prospective purchasers – in fact all properties should have one whether or not they are up for sale.

Properties built after January 10, 2007 will already be graded A or B.

An EPC is valid for 10 years and must be presented for all homes whether they are being built, sold or rented. Such an inspection can be carried out by a civil engineer.

Licensed inspectors from the Ministry of Commerce are authorized to visit properties and request an Energy Performance Certificate. If there isn’t an EPC time will be given to the owner(s) to arrange for the inspection by a civil engineer who will then issue an EPC. Failure to comply with the request from a licensed inspector of the Ministry of Commerce for an Energy Performance Certificate will result in a fine of up to Euros 30,000 (Thirty Thousand).

The reason for an Energy Performance Certificate is to enable prospective purchasers, owners or tenants to compare the energy efficiency of different properties of the same type – it gives an estimation of higher or lower fuel costs which need to be taken into consideration. There are also, of course, variables such as whether or not individuals switch off lights and appliances when not in use, and whether low-energy light bulbs are installed or how long heating and air conditioning is used which contribute to energy consumption and cost.

At the present time the lack of an Energy Performance Certificate does not prevent the transfer of title deeds from a seller to a new buyer.

CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP AND PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH INVESTMENT

1)  CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP THROUGH INVESTMENT AND  2) PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH INVESTMENT

Cyprus citizenship t

Path to Cyprus citizenship through investment and or  permanent residence

A number of clients who contacted us initially regarding the Cyprus government program of citizenship through investment, or permanent residence through investment, were unclear as to how exactly the program worked, or what options were available to them. So, I should like to take this opportunity to clarify a few points.

There are two categories 1) Cyprus citizenship through investment and 2) permanent residence through investment. Each of these programs has different requirements and they are explained below. I have included links (at the bottom of the page) to the government website which gives very detailed information on these two highly successful programs.

CITIZENSHIP

Investment Options:

The Cyprus government has a “fast track” citizenship scheme which is aimed at high net worth individuals, investors and entrepreneurs who are non-EU nationals. Successful applicants and their immediate family (i.e. wife/husband and children under 18,  also any dependent between the ages of 18 – 28) are granted Cypriot (EU) passports allowing them all the benefits and rights of EU citizenship.

There are various options available for investment and fast track citizenship:-

1) The purchase of shares or bonds in state-run investment companies in the amount of Euros 2 million or more, together with a donation of a half million Euros to the Research & Technology Fund instituted by the government.

2) The purchase of Euros 5 million or more in residential property, commercial property, shops, offices or hotels. Any property purchased under this option must be put to use by the investor.

3) Investors can deposit Euros 5 million into a Cypriot bank account or invest the same amount in establishing a company and retaining beneficial ownership. This type of investment must be maintained for at least three years.

4) The purchase of companies currently active in Cyprus or shares of companies that are registered in Cyprus.

There is no requirement that an applicant reside in Cyprus before or during the application process and, once the application has been approved, Cypriot passports are usually granted within approximately 4 months.

Cyprus is ranked 5th best place in the world for relocation. It has a highly favorable tax regime and more sunny days  per year than any other destination in Europe. It also has a high standard of living, low crime rate, good infrastructure and transportation, excellent educational system, great medical services and a stable government.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE POLICY FOR NON-EU CITIZENS

Investment Options:

Permanent residence (not citizenship) is granted to those who invest in a property costing at least Euros 300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand), bought as a new build from a developer. The applicant must also maintain a minimum of Euros 30,000 (Thirty Thousand) in a Cyprus bank account and have available sufficient income from overseas to apply for the fast track permanent residence.

The permanent residence permit once granted is not revoked as long as the holder continues to own real estate valued at Euros 300,000 or more and visits Cyprus for at least one day every 6 months.

For more detailed information on applying for either citizenship through investment or permanent residency through investment please click here:

http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/moi.nsf/All/1A1EABBBA08669B5C2257B51002DF3EC

http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/moi.nsf/All/36DB428D50A58C00C2257C1B00218CAB

 

 

 

 

 

 

INHERITANCE TAX

Books - The laws of Cyprus

The Laws Of Cyprus

There is no inheritance tax in Cyprus.

However, properties owned in the United Kingdom are subject to tax in the United Kingdom as these are not covered by the double taxation treaty.

CLARIFICATION OF THE NEW WILLS & SUCCESSION LAW:

On the 7th July 2015 Section 42 of the Wills & Succession Law Cap.195 was abolished.

This abolished section gave Commonwealth country citizens (except Cypriots) the absolute freedom to dispose of their estate through a Will in any manner they wished.

Since the publication of this new law there has been a great deal of confusion as to the validity of Wills already made in Cyprus by British citizens and it has also confused those who were thinking of making a Will.

Clarification: The answer is clear and simple and is taken directly from Section 43 of the above mentioned law which states, among other things, that Wills made by British citizens in Cyprus are valid and effective provided they are not in conflict with Section 11 of the (English) Wills Act 1837.

Taking into account the above, making a will in Cyprus is strongly advised as, without one, assets will be distributed according to Cyprus inheritance and succession laws whereby all first degree relatives co-inherit equally.

ARCHANGEL MICHAEL HOSPICE, PAPHOS

Archangel Michael Hospice

Archangel Michael Hospice

As a law firm in Paphos we come across many people, businesses and institutions in our day to day practice and, in our opinion, one of the very best community services available in Cyprus is the Archangel Michael Hospice in Paphos, which provides free medical assistance and comfort for those who are in need of palliative and respite care due to an incurable disease. To receive care the patient must be suffering from a terminal illness and may be either referred by their physician or self-referred. Respite care is also available for 2 – 3 weeks at a time to give family and care givers a rest and moral support.

HIGH STANDARDS OF NURSING AND MEDICAL CARE COMBINED WITH COMPASSION

All those in need of palliative care (the relief and prevention of pain) are welcome, free of charge, at the hospice regardless of religious beliefs, nationality, age or the type of illness. The costs of the hospice are financed by donations, legacies and fund raising events.

The aim of the hospice is holistic care – not only is the physical suffering addressed but also the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient, family and friends – compassionate care – helping the patient to retain quality of life as long as is possible and allowing the individual to die with dignity in a safe environment.

The Archangel Michael Hospice is the only hospice on the island with rooms dedicated to the palliative care of children and emotional/spiritual support for their families.

If you would like more information regarding the hospice or would like to host a fund raising event or make a donation please visit their website by clicking here.

ΚΕΝΤΡΟ ΑΝΑΚΟΥΦΙΣΤΙΚΗΣ ΦΡΟΝΤΙΔΑΣ ΑΡΧΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛ
Archangel Michael Hospice
Ayias Marina 1, 8290 Mesa Chorio, Pafos, Cyprus.
PHONE: 26600970 – FAX: 26600978 – E-mail: admin@archangel-michael-hospice.com

CYPRUS PROPERTY TRANSFER TAXES CUT

Chloraka - Paphos - poolCYPRUS – PROPERTY TRANSFER TAXES CUT BY 50%

Following a unanimous vote by Members of Parliament, property transfer taxes have been cut by 50% until December 31, 2016 – good news indeed for all those buyers ready to transfer available title deeds!

This move is part of a wider tax reform in order to help stimulate the Cypriot economy.

Cleaning Cyprus in a Day!

Six Thousand Five Hundred is the number of volunteers who have so far registered for “Let’s Do It Cyprus! – We Clean Cyprus in a Day” campaign, to be held this year in Nicosia and Limassol on Sunday, 6th April starting at 10 a.m.

This is the second event of its kind in Cyprus. The first event was a huge success in 2012 with 4000 volunteers. The idea originally started in Estonia in 2008 and has now spread to 100 countries. Ioanna Panayiotou is the Environment Commissioner in Cyprus and is in charge of the event.

The deadline to register for those interested in participating is noon on Thursday, 3rd April 2014.

For information go to: www.ldicyprus.org

Cyprus Banks End Daily Withdrawal Limit

The Euros 300 (Three Hundred) daily per person withdrawal limit from banks in Cyprus has ended. Also, fixed-interest time deposits may now be accessed before they have matured.

Under certain conditions, individuals wishing to open accounts in other banks may do so.

Restrictions still exist, however, when it comes to moving money overseas.

Cypriot officials have stated that they anticipate all controls being completely removed by the end of this year (2014).

Easter in Cyprus

The carnivals are over and Lent has just begun – a 40 day fasting period of no meat, poultry or dairy products. The bakeries accommodate those who fast by adding dairy-free, egg-free and meat-free pastries and cookies to their already vast array of goodies. Generally, fasting is followed more strictly in the villages of Cyprus than in the towns, but most restaurants and takeaways also add fasting dishes to their menus during this period.

As Easter draws near, April 20th this year (2014), an air of festivity envelops the towns and villages. During Holy Week (the week preceding Easter Sunday) there is a flurry of church-going, shopping for new clothes and baking. The smell of the traditional Cypriot flaounes cooking, combined with the heady scent of orange blossoms in the air and the sound of singing which emanates from the churches, creates an atmosphere of expectation – a feeling that something good is just around the corner. Read more..

Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre

Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre – A priceless service given to our community.

The Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre in Nicosia provides an extremely valuable service to the community. It opened in 1998 and that year cared for 1000 patients. In 2011, 13 years after its’ inception, 32,000 patients passed through the doors.

The centre has upgraded and expanded treatments during the years of its operation – nuclear medicine being part of that. By the end of 2009 Bank of Cyprus had paid out Euros 38.3 million in construction and upgrades.

Treatments, medicines, salaries and other running expenses are covered by the Ministry of Health, and all services are free for those possessing a Cyprus Health Card.