ACCORDING to the Auditor-general’s report, the Island’s Inland Revenue Department collected €1.31 billion in taxes last year compared to the €1.35 billion it collected in 2008.
However, the government lost millions of Euros in tax revenues because it failed to introduce proposals made by the Auditor-general last year on tax evasion, the revaluation of immovable property and capital gains tax.
By the end of 2009, the amount of revenue lost amounted to €626 million compared to the €580 million lost in 2008; an 8% increase.
One problem area highlighted in Chrystalla Georghadji’s report was the loss in revenue from property sales. It noted that in many sales the registered sale price was lower than the sale price achieved and that this reduced the amount of capital gains tax collected by the state.
The Cyprus Church came under fire. According to Georghadji, it could owe as much as €175 million in unpaid taxes because it failed to comply with an obligation to declare its real estate holdings. But this amount could be as much as €74.3 million lower according to an estimate based on nominal values by the Audit Office (a re-evaluation has been requested).
In May this year, Archbishop Chrysostomos was reported as saying that he would not pay a “single Euro” in unpaid taxes “as long as he is the head of the Church”.