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Property taxes to merge

The Cyprus government has plans to submit a bill to parliament that will integrate Immovable Property Tax and municipal taxes before parliament closes for the summer recess.

Immovable Property TaxTHE government plans to draft legislation “very soon,” integrating immovable property tax (IPT), Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos said on Thursday.

The minister said the government was planning to submit the bill integrating state and municipal taxes before parliament closed for the summer holidays.

“This is expected to be done very soon, possibly before the House closes,” Hasikos said.

The minister added that property values have also been reassessed.

“We will be ready in the first week of June to give the entire base of reassessed values to the finance ministry,” he said.

Discussion on the rates has not yet started, he said.

Hasikos said the €100m the government wanted to collect and the €13m from the municipalities would be merged into one integrated tax.

The minister said there will not be an increase in taxation, but on the contrary, an effort would be made to have a reduction, if possible.

“The government does not want to take more than its share according to the financing needs we have,” he said.

As part of Cyprus’ bailout agreement with international lenders, authorities had to update the values of some half a million properties.

It was initially planned that the IPT for 2014 would be levied based on the up-to-date values, but the new rates will now apply for IPT payable in 2015.

The state is currently using 1980s values to calculate IPT.

The revised property valuations were made available online for owners to view and appeal if necessary.

Owners have until the end of the year to appeal the government’s valuation of their real estate.

It was reported in April that around 22,000 people had filed forms challenging the land registry’s valuation.

Readers' comments

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  • demetri says:

    Nigel not that this topic is tied in directly but I spoke to a Mr. Pissarides today on 22807488 at the tax office….asked if they developer is responsible for my lack of deeds (due to building plan violation) who is liable to pay the ipt?…his answer was if it stipulates in your purchase agreement that the buyer is responsible on delivery of property to pay all taxes going forward obviously buyer pays the ipt, if no mention is made of who pays taxes etc then onus falls on developer and he cannot encumber you with this debt.tax….of course the tax office not wanting to lose out I guess did mention that one way or another the developer will pass on this debt to me as a buyer and when issuing of deeds is due I’d have to cough up.

    IF we ever got to that point I told him. Developers are more adept at vanishing when they have to face the music and after they take your cash…..don’t know where this country will end up, nothing seems to be changing, just empty promises by all in power.

  • @Douglas on 2015/05/26 at 1:26 pm – There have been no announcements on the rates of Immovable Property Tax payable this year, only the information I posted yesterday – the Finance Minister Haris Georgiades has said that the amount collected in IPT will be the same as last year – €100 million plus another €14 million for the municipalities.

    Before the rates are set they have to be agreed bt MPs at a plenary session of parliament. I doubt we’ll here anything before July.

  • Douglas says:

    It appears property value upto 200,000 euros is free of ‘IPT’ but do properties valued above 200,000 euro have the same exemption and pay ‘IPT’ on the value above that? If not then it would be classed as discrimination by European Law?

  • @Captain Sensible on 2015/05/25 at 3:59 pm – Under no circumstances should you be paying 2014’s and this years IPT to your developer.

    The law changed last year and all those who have registered their contract of sale at the Land Registry & taken delivery of the property should pay IPT directly to the Tax Office – see Paying Immovable Property Tax 2014.

    If your developer is getting you to pay him, that’s extortion – a criminal offence!

    Finance Minister Haris Georgiades has said that the amount collected in IPT will be the same as last year – €100 million plus another €14 million for the municipalities (the two taxes will be merged this year).

    We will not know the tax banks and rates until they have been debated and agreed by Parliament – probably in July.

  • Captain Sensible says:

    A bill was approved last year exempting owners with property values of less than €200,000. This was broadly in line with the old 1980 CYP valuation rule. Has this all been changed around now with a different 2015 IP tax scale? Apartment owners still pay IPT to the developer, until we can claim the Title deed. Does this now mean after getting TD’s an apartment of say €100,000 would have to pay an IPT of 8%? All very confusing !!

  • Peter Davis says:

    Nigel,

    I went on-line to find my IPT value, hence I know what I would be charged. By changing the last digit in the search field I was able to find out the IPT of my neighbour’s villas.

    Hence I know for a fact that a Cypriot owned villa close by, bigger than mine is half the price. Some f the figures were really odd.

    Unfortunately the village is on three sheets and I couldn’t find all of them, not the ones I wanted anyway to give me grounds for an appeal.

    I was surprised to find that even our Green Area was shown having an IPT value.

  • demetri says:

    @nigel thanks for the reply, but in late sept last year when I went in search of my developer so he could explain why the district admin had issued a certificate of non compliance I only found his wife. All she could tell me was her husband was in and of court every other day over non payment of i.p.t. Which leads me to believe that he was responsible for paying the tax in cases like mine where there were infringements delaying issuing of deeds. I will speak to a Mr. Chrysostomou I believe who was in charge last year when the ipt was lumbered to buyers, just to clarify and update you….

    As for the 1.2 m high wall rule, well yes, but in our case ‘the wall’ is 3.0m high as the plot on which the properties were build is at a raised level of about 2.0m above the level of the neighbouring property….long story….quite easy fix but as you and everyone says no power is given to the buyer to remedy issues because surprise surprise deeds are still in developers name! yet here the govt sits and has the b**ls to ask buyers to pay taxes on properties they do not own outright!

  • @Peter Davis on 2015/05/24 at 9:17 am – You’ve made this comment on numerous occasions. Have you phoned the Land Registry to advise them? They will check the valuation while you wait – at no cost to yourself (apart from the phone call.)

    If you then wish to appeal there is a charge, which I expect is to discourage time-wasters.

    The lack of transparency is a major problem. I received an email a few days ago from a couple who bought a half share in a plot of land. The authorities refuse to tell them who owns the other half. Ridiculous!

  • @demetri on 2015/05/23 at 10:55 pm – The law changed last year and it now required those who have purchased property and taken delivery to pay Immovable Property Tax.

    As I recall, the maximum height for a boundary wall is 1.2 metres and your developer will (should have) known this. I agree that the system is a joke as the authorities appear unwilling or unable to resolve these types of problems – although your developer could.

  • Peter Davis says:

    But still no transparancy in the IPT system.

    Why is mine over twice the amount of a local Cypriot owned villa which has a bigger floor plan? And why do I need to pay a fine just to appeal.

    The only other way is to stop paying go to court and expose the unfairness about the system.

  • demetri says:

    Hi all got a query

    Can’t get deeds as developer is denied certificate of final completion due to a building infringement(my property and another 3 that sit on plot suffer from issue of an off plan 3.0m high wall with a neighbouring property that affects neighbours quality of life they say).

    Last year after explaining this to the tax people they told me the liability for the immovable property tax lies with developer as not having deeds is due to developer outright (but they did suggest I pay my portion of tax as I would have to in the end, I haven’t! not until I get deeds).

    Developer hasn’t sorted out building infringement yet so I still have no deeds. I have always paid the local community taxes, so what happens now? will the community board inform the tax dept. that I pay the community taxes and bunch this in with the immovable property tax that developer is supposed to be paying? and hence send me a bill to include this?

    It’s sufficient to say they are ALL a bunch of cowboys, when I offered to knock down the offending wall the district administration bunch who wouldn’t issue the certificate of final completion said no that’s illegal, hang on a minute, the wall is illegal in your eyes anyway, so why would removing something illegal be illegal? I didn’t get an answer, alas because the whole plot is still registered to monkey developers & sons ltd I cannot submit plans for a new compliant wall even if I had the cash to sort it….joke of a system with all the papers pushers doing just that to justify being paid big salaries…if system was streamlined and efficient half of them would be out of a job.

  • @Campbell Findlay on 2015/05/22 at 9:45 am – Please refer to the article I published – Paying Immovable Property Tax 2014 – and see Steve’s comment.

  • Steve says:

    The inmates are running the mad house again! How can the updated (I.e. 2013) values for IPT purposes, arguably not necessarily market values, be used for 2015 when 22,000 appeals have been lodged and the appeals deadline is the end of 2015 so more can be expected? If those on appeal are granted extra time to pay IPT and the rest go on as normal, then we can all choose to appeal.

    @Campbell
    I don’t have title deeds, but I do have a 2013 valuation, signed by the developer on a new form from the Revenue Dept, dated 2015, for my share of the development, to be used for IPT calculations. Owners without title deeds must have this information if they are to consider an appeal before the deadline.

  • Campbell Findlay says:

    All very well but those of us without Title Deeds can only obtain the Value of the complex we are on – not individual valuations for each apartment thereon.

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