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Immovable Property Tax vote set for Thursday

Having debated changes to Immovable Property Tax for more than a month, it is expected that MPs will vote on the various proposals to amend the law at a Plenary session of parliament on Thursday.

INTERIOR Minister Socrates Hasikos said on Friday that there are still a few problems to sort out with changes to the Immovable Property Tax (IPT) system.

To date, tax demands have been sent to all owners of properties whose 1980 value is €12,500 or more and the state has collected approximately €14.4 million in additional revenue against the target agreed with the troika of at least €75 million.

Additional staff have been appointed to the Inland Revenue departments dealing with IPT and there are no major delays.

However, a number of problems have surfaced.

One known issue was that people wanted to understand how their IPT liability had been calculated. Owners who have received an IPT demand can obtain a detailed breakdown by registering with JCC Smart and clicking on the Inland Revenue Department icon [see Get a detailed breakdown of your Immovable Property Tax bill] or they can turn up at the Inland Revenue office with their ID card for verification.

Chartered surveyor Pavlos Loizou of Leaf Research said that he was aware that some people who had sold their property had received a demand for IPT. (As the tax is levied on those who own property on the 1st January, some of these demands could be explained by property transfers that have taken place since the start of the year; 4,433 according to the latest figures from the Department of Lands and Surveys).

Another issue is that although the Cabinet agreed changes to the IPT law more than a month ago, the House of Representatives has yet to vote on the matter. The government wants:

  • To remove the minimum tax payment of €75.
  • To exempt owners of properties whose total 1980 value is no more than €5,000.
  • Owners of properties whose 1980 value exceeds €5,000 to pay tax on their total 1980 value and not benefit from the €5,000 exemption.

(Note that the law already includes exemptions for e.g. religious buildings and communal grazing grounds.)

However, opposition party AKEL is pushing for a higher exemption threshold of €40,000 with an adjustment in the tax bands to recover the loss in revenue – and to completely exempt all property registered as agricultural and livestock by the Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation on 1 January 1980.

It is expected that the House of Representatives will vote on the various amendments at its Plenary session this coming Thursday.

Readers' comments

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  • @demetri – My wife & I paid our IPT shortly after it was announced – and it was much less than I used to pay a MONTH in UK Council Tax!

    Next year the whole system is to be revised and I wouldn’t expect people to pay more than they have this year.

    I spoke with the Inland Revenue about non-residents as the IR will not have their addresses. Non-residents owning property should send an email to [email protected] stating:

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

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

    The Inland Revenue will send them the forms to complete and return.

    (or if they visit Cyprus they can visit the IR office with Title Deeds, passports, completed forms)

  • demetri says:

    Well we received the bill yesterday, and to be honest with you not too steep at all, HOWEVER as I have debated here before the 1980 value and what that equates to in Euros is I am sure way under the value of property in real terms and that is even after taking into account that prices have dropped….so I’d expect a lot of people will be getting heftier bills as of next year as I am sure prices will be revised up hence the tax too….despite numerous govt, officials making statements to the contrary… Nigel if you are a non resident then you turn up with deeds, passport, and some contact details and that’s it?

  • Carl says:

    If I understand this correctly the IPT is based on the 1980 value of my apartment which was built in 2007.

    This value is then recorded on the title deeds which in turn is issued to the owner.

    At the moment I assume the owner is still the developer as title deeds have not been issued although the developer has deposited the sales contract with the Land Registry.

    So how can an IPT demand be issued and to whom ?

  • Pippa says:

    Can this incompetent parliament do anything right? Would it not be better to bring in financial and political expertise from outside Cyprus and put this lot into detention until the situation is sorted out?

    It appears that Cyprus is leaping from one set of bad laws to another. Issue title deeds to all properties built up to 2013, wipe the slate clean, start again with a proper, fit for use land registry and planning system. Then perhaps we may see some sense in the Banana Republic.

  • caroline says:

    it’s all well and good sending out tax demands but what about us owners who don’t live in Cyprus and maybe only visit once a year? Can’t ever see this mess (one of many in Cyprus) ever being settled and I certainly won’t be paying anything until I have everything detailed in black and white. I simply don’t trust anything that is going on over there at the moment

  • Peter says:

    IPT – Is this paid once you have your title deeds in hand?

    Their are so many property owners who do not transfer their properties and acquire their deeds, but leave it for the developer to pay and then he recovers the IPT highly inflated from the owners when they transfer.

    Why is it not a condition that once the deeds are available it’s compulsory to transfer which would bring in a lot of needed cash.

    Why does the land registry not work in conjunction with the electricity board and identify these so called mystery properties that have avoided tax for years.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Let’s hope they also debate what is happening to the 250,000 elephants in the room where the property owners names are unknown.

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