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Cabinet modifies Immovable Property Tax charges

At a meeting in Troodos yesterday, the cabinet decided that those with properties whose 1980 value is €5,000 or less will be exempt from paying IPT and scrapped the €75 minimum charge.

THE CABINET yesterday decided to exempt immovable property worth up to €5,000 at 1980s values from the new taxation.

In one of several decisions taken during the meeting at the presidential retreat in the Troodos mountains, the cabinet also scrapped the minimum amount of €75 for immovable properties worth between €5,000 and €40,000, which will now be taxed at 0.6 per cent on the 1980’s value.

From next year, the immovable property tax (IPT) will be based on 2013 values.

The IPT is an obligation assumed by Cyprus as part of its €10 billion bailout agreement. The state expects to collect between €105 million and €110 million.

For 2013, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) will tax owners with properties registered in their name based on the 1980 value.

Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said yesterday the cabinet’s decision aimed at addressing imbalances in the taxation which would have forced anyone owning any piece of land – no matter its value – to pay tax.

He said that the owner of a plot of land on the mountains would have been called to pay at minimum a flat fee of €75, just for having “(say) a field with three olive trees”.

“The state considers the administrative cost to be too large for such properties of insubstantial value,” Stylianides said. The changes “reduce injustices and the distortions of the current legislation,” he added.

Stylianides said that in the process of updating property values for taxation purposes, the land registry noted they would surpass the tax targets agreed with the troika of lenders by some €10 million.

“In this way, this amount is returned to the owners of low-value immovable property,” Stylianides said.

In effect, authorities have decided to forego some of the additional revenue that would have been raised, scrapping the flat minimum fee of €75 for properties worth up to €40,000 and leaving a tax free band for immovable property worth less €5,000 at 1980 values.

Opposition party AKEL hailed the cabinet decision, which it said was a response to a “popular reaction against that unfair and levelling taxation”.

Cyprus Immovable Property Tax

Editor’s notes

How do non-residents pay?

Earlier today I spoke with the Chief Revenue Officer at the Inland Revenue about the problems faced by non-residents in paying their Immovable Property Tax.

1. Non-residents owning property should send an email to [email protected] stating:

– Their names and contact details (permanent address and telephone number)

– Details of the property (Land registry reference on its Title Deed and address)

The Inland Revenue will send them the forms to complete and return. If these are in Greek, please visit Money off your Immovable Property Tax to get English-language translations.

2. Only the owners of property (i.e. those with Title Deeds) are required to pay IPT to the Inland Revenue.

Immovable Property Tax 2014

Sensational rumours abound that, because the basis on which Immovable Property Tax is calculated will be revised next year, property tax in future years will increase dramatically.

Such rumours are totally unfounded!

Readers' comments

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  • @Don-Paphos – please see my comments on the article:

    Non-residents owning property should send an email to [email protected] stating:

    – Their names and contact details (permanent address and telephone number).

    – Details of the property (Land registry reference on its Title Deed and address).

    The Inland Revenue will send them the forms to complete and return. If these are in Greek, please visit Money off your Immovable Property Tax to get English-language translations.

    (Should you fail to complete and return the forms I expect you will have to face the consequences.)

  • Don-Paphos says:

    Nigel, do non-residents have to complete all the forms or can they just wait for the invoice to be posted to their property? What happens if they do NOT complete these Greek forms?
    Don

  • Anna says:

    Thank you Nigel, I will contact the developer, without too much hope!

  • Anna says:

    In the original contract of sale it explicitly states that the developer will issue title deeds on request, so I assume he means he will apply on my behalf?

  • @Anna – it is the Land Registry’s responsibility to issue Title Deeds and you need to ask the developer how far he has got in the process:

    1. When was the application for the Town Planning Permit submitted?
    2. Has a Building Permit been issued?
    3. Have any Covered Permits been requested/issued?
    4. Has a Certificate of Approval been applied for / issued?
    5. Has a Division Permit been applied for?
    6. Has a Certificate of Approval for the Division Permit been issued?
    7. Has an application been made to the District Lands’ Office for the registration of the property & issue of Title Deeds?

  • Anna says:

    My developer has not responded to my request for title deeds although I told him I have paid off my mortgage, so this year I will let him find the tax.

  • @Stuart – undoubtedly amount of Immovable Property Tax owners will be asked to pay next year will be different.

    But you need to bear in mind that:

    1. the vast majority of the 352,000 people who will have to pay this tax are Cypriot and the government will not want to tax them too much. If you take too much tax out of people’s pockets, there will be no chance of any recovery in the economy. (And if you read today’s press reports some people are already complaining that they’re being asked to pay too much).

    2. Troika only wants the government to raise a further €75 million from property taxation.

    So, IMHO, the tax bands will be adjusted in 2014 to cater for the increase in property values – if they were to be left unchanged the amount of tax owners would be asked to pay would be close to €1 billion.

    (I would hazard a guess that 99.9999% of all property on the island has a Title Deed).

  • dimitri says:

    Nigel you are probably right I know people who have received the notices also, the article in phileftheros in Greek translates to – the inland revenue does to have access to the detailed breakdown of the property archives of the land registry……basically people with more than one property are receiving the IPT and it does not show IPT levied against each property separately…people are up in arms as if they feel they have been overcharged they cannot see how they were actually charged per property so as to dispute it….to do this leads to further outrage as the IRS cannot give you the breakdown and land registry is arguing they can give you the breakdown BUT charge for the service..!

    Το ΤΕΠ δεν έχει πρόσβαση στο αναλυτικό αρχείο περιουσιών του Κτηματολογίου.

  • Stuart says:

    @Nigel. Presumably the 1980 value shown on the Title Deed (assuming there is such a Deed) is either the true value in 1980 if the asset is old enough, or a value derived by extrapolating a more recent asset’s value back to its 1980 equivalent.

    If in 2014 IPT will be based on 2013 valuations, some of these will have had the benefit of up to 33 years of inflation from 1980 levels and hence the sensational rumours abounding that IPT will increase dramatically in 2014.

    If such rumours are totally unfounded, could you please explain why this theory is apparently invalid?

  • @dimitri – I believe the Inland Revenue does have access to the Land Registry data as the Inland Revenue has already sent out IPT notices (including some to non-residents).

    And some people have contacted me saying that the Inland Revenue has had to contact the Land Registry to get details of their property and asked them to come back in a couple of days. So the link must have been established.

    (However I do note there’s an article in today’s Φιλελεύθερος that the Inland Revenue does not have access to the Land Registry file – but my Greek isn’t good enough to translate it properly – Το ΤΕΠ δεν έχει πρόσβαση στο αναλυτικό αρχείο περιουσιών του Κτηματολογίου).

  • @steve – the land will be registered at the Land Registry along with its 1980 value and details of its owner(s).

    But I guess in some cases that the ownership data will be out of date.

  • steve says:

    “(say) a field with three olive trees”. How many people with the above will have even bothered to register this field, hundreds of thousands no doubt. This land has been passed down through the generations. Ask a local villager who owns the three fields at the top of the hill. From now on I can bet nobody knows. What will the government do in this case. Repossess it and add it to all the villas and apartments that are also worthless. I can see an auction coming on were property and land will be sold off just to cover admin costs and then we will be back to square one. WELL DONE

  • dimitri says:

    Latest news (nigel correct me if i am wrong) on the latest fiasco is that the inland revenue service does not have access to the property price data as supplied to them by the land registry…..and when the IRS eventually manages to open these ‘archives’ the land registry is opposed to details being printed off as breakdown of all properties that maybe registered in an individuals name…citing the fact that this is ONLY the job of the land registry and not to be done by the inland revenue….furthermore IRS says a specialized software needs to be written to analyse the data!

  • dimitri says:

    Property tax 2104, I guess if you owned a beach side plot of land since 1980 whose value was say 40,000 cy pounds…it would for sure be revised up when revalued to reflect today’s prices. As for 2013 prices, where there are already rumours that dodgy officials are evaluating properties in order to reduce the ipt of some.

  • UBoat says:

    Hello All

    So let me get this correct …..

    As an owner of property BUT NOT the title deed, I can not pay IPT as I don’t hold the title my developer still does (13 years now) and there is NO sign he will finish the development any time soon. So I will Not get my title?

    Therefore I will not pay IPT at this rate (1980) BUT Now it may seem that I and thousands of others will have to pay more if we ever get our title deeds.

    Looks like a very unfair system. Us that invested in the country back then are still being ignored by our developers and local government who seem to have NO power to force them to complete and hand over the title.

    What a CARRY on or should I say CARRY ON CYPRUS ?

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