FOLLOWING numerous comments and press articles this week on the ‘notorious’ Immovable Property Tax, I’m considering changing the title of this journal to ‘Immovable Property Tax News’.
What has happened?
On Tuesday at a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Troodos, the Cabinet agreed to scrap the €75 IPT minimum payment and that those owning property whose total 1980 values are no more than €5,000 will be exempt from paying IPT.
This move was designed to “reduce injustices and the distortions of the current legislation” according to government spokesman Christos Stylianides.
On Friday the main opposition party, AKEL, said that it would resubmit an amendment to the Immovable Property Tax that will exempt the first residence from IPT.
(Neither of these amendments have been discussed by Parliament and we will have to wait until any changes to the current law are published in the Cyprus Gazette before we can assess their impact).
Meanwhile the Inland Revenue Department has been flooded with complaints from property owners concerning the calculation of their IPT.
It seems that the owners of multiple properties are not being issued with detailed statements of how their IPT has been calculated, but a lump-sum 1980 value of their properties and the tax due.
Inland Revenue Director, George Poufos has said that “We can’t print out detailed statements for some 450,000 registered owners and mail them, that’s neither practical nor feasible at this time.”
According to a report in the Greek language newspaper Phileleftheros, those who want a detailed statement of all their properties nationwide must pay €50 fee, while those who want a breakdown for a specific district are being asked to pay €20.
In addition, many people who have recently had the 1980 value of their properties reassessed are also complaining.
Doom and gloom
As if that wasn’t enough, the ‘doom and gloom merchants’ have been spreading rumours that IPT will increase dramatically next year as the tax will be based on 2013 property values rather than 1980 values as they have been in the past.
To scotch these rumours Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos has stepped in and given his assurance that there will be absolutely no tax increases.