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Cyprus is a popular place for the acquisition by foreigners of holiday houses. The popularity is attributed to many factors, like low cost of living and its high standards, the hospitality of the local population, the attractive climate and the sense of security.

Restrictions

Foreigners are given permission to acquire one of the following:
- apartment
- house
- building plot or land up to approximately three donums          (4,014 square meters)

An I.B.C. may also acquire premises for their business and for the residence of their foreign employees provided they maintain a fully fledged office.

In certain cases, it is possible that the Council of Ministers will grant approval for the acquisition by a foreigner of a larger area of land, if the land is to be used for tourist development (e.g. Hotel or Hotel Complex), especially if the intended project is in an area where the Government wishes to promote tourism.  A similar stand is taken for certain industrial sectors.

Particulars of present owner
Terms of payment
The way of acquisition (i.e. Freehold, leasehold shares in property company etc)
Copies of the government survey plans

The completed application form is submitted to the District Officer in the district where the property is situated.  The District Officer together with other relevant government departments will make further enquiries and prepare a report, which is submitted, to the Council of Ministers through the Minister of Interior.

The letter of approval or refusal may take up-to six months or even longer.  However, there is no restriction in taking possession of the property in the meantime.

The permit for the acquisition of immovable property by a foreigner is granted only if:

The house will be used only for his own residence and the building plot or land does not exceed 4,014 square meters
It is used for professional or commercial business
It is used in manufacturing in areas where the Council of Ministers believes that it will be for the benefit of the Cyprus Economy and the production of products that are related to the use of new technologies or technical knowledge.

The permit has the following conditions and restrictions:

The transfer to be effected within a year from the date of the permit or within three years in case of constructions of a building on the property.

Thus on disposal of the property the whole amount can be exported (after the tax obligations have been met). The Central Bank of Cyprus requires a clearance certificate.

 

 

Immovable Property Tax

This tax is imposed on the market value of every registered owner whose immovable property exceeds C£100,000 must submit a declaration of immovable property (IR 301 and IR 302) and pay the respective tax every year before 30 September.

I m m o v a b l e  P r o p e r t y  T a x

Applied

up to 31.12.2002

Applicable

from 1.1.2003

 

 

 

Up to £100.000

nil

nil

£100.001 to £250.000

2,0‰

2,5‰

£250.001 to £500.000

3,0‰

3,5‰

£500.001and over

3,5‰

4,0‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital Gains Tax

On disposal of the property, there will be capital gains tax at the rate of 20 per cent on the gain.  The first C£10,000 (or C£50,000 in the case of one's private residence) is exempt and there is also an indexation allowance.  However, there is no tax if the property was acquired between 1 August 1980 and 13 July 1990 with foreign exchange imported into the Republic.

Foreigner means any person who is not a citizen of the Republic and includes a foreign controlled company.

Acquisition of real estate property includes:

Transfer by Registration
Long leases of more than 33 years
The acquisition and control of shares in a company, which owns real estate, if such an acquisition results in the company becoming controlled by foreigners.
the establishment of a trust or other set up for the benefit of a foreigner.

 

 

Application to the Council of Ministers and application form details

 

The acquisition of real estate property by foreigners requires the approval of the Council of Ministers under the Immovable Property Acquisition (Aliens) Law Cap. 109.  The details required for the application form are as follows:

Personal details of applicant
Financial standing of applicant
Particulars of the property

The costs to be paid in foreign currency
All taxes to be paid
The permit is given for the specific property and use only

 

 

Application to the Central Bank

The Central Bank will provide a certificate evidencing that the purchase consideration was paid in foreign exchange on submission of the following documents on form EC/NR/01:

Contract of Sale
Copy of the Council of Ministers' approval to acquire the property
Certificate from the commercial bank evidencing the importation of foreign exchange
Registration certificate of the property

 

 

Application to the District Land Office

The transfer of ownership is effected at the District Land Office on submission of the following documents

Application form N.270
The registration certificate of the property
Copy of the Council of Ministers approval
Central Bank's approval
Evidence of payment of all the property taxes to date.

 

 

EU residents

From May 1st 2004 Cyprus will be a full member of the European Union. That will make the procedure for purchasing a property in Cyprus easier. The permission of the Council of Ministers will no longer be necessary. Please note that certain restriction may also apply for EU residents for a period of time (grace period) that was given to Cyprus from the EU in order to harmonize its laws with those of the EU.
Legal advice is strongly suggested before entering into a deal concerning immovable property in Cyprus/ Please note that neither this information nor any information contained in this web site constitutes legal advice.

 

 

Central Bank Exchange Control Regulations

As from 1 February 1997 the acquisition of real estate property in Cyprus by foreigners and International Business companies is no longer affected by foreign exchange controls.

Immovable property as at 1 January 1980 and applies to the immovable property held by the tax payer on 1 January of each year.  Physical and legal persons, are both liable to this tax.

The tax rates are as follows:

 

 

Estate Duty

Estate duty has been abolished since 1st January 2000.

 

 

Transfer fees **

When the Land Registry Office registers the immovable property in the name of the purchaser, the purchaser has to pay the transfer fees.

As from 19th March 1999 the transfer fees are as follows:

*T r a n s f e r  F e e s

Value of Property CY£

 

Transfer fees rate

per cent

 

Accumulated Fees C£

0      -   50,000

50,000       - 100,000

over            100,000

3%

5%

8%

1,500

4,000

 

Stamp Duty

The purchase contract should be stamped of water supply, electricity and telephone lines.

It must be made certain that the seller has a valid title to the property and that there are no encumbrances which will present problems with the transfer of ownership.
In the case of purchase of an apartment or house it must be checked that the seller has secured the building and other permits and can be delivered with vacant possession.
Legal advice to be obtained.
In the contract of sale a provision should be made that the money already paid must be refunded should the council of Ministers refuse the application.
A copy of the contract of sale should be deposited with the District Land Office.
When buying an apartment, house etc it is very important to enquire as to the reputation and reliability of the developer.

Important:
The information given does not constitute a legal advice and is subject to change according to the laws of Cyprus.

 

 

 Tax Facts & Figures:

Preface

This publication aims at providing a general description of the tax system in Cyprus. The tax information contained is based on the tax legislation and practice as at Janaury 2003. There are significant benefits from a proper and effective taxplanning. We, at ECR Properties have the knowledge and expertise. We are next to you to share innovative specialized solutions and know-how to assist you for structuring your operations in a tax efficient way. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any of our offices at the addresses shown at the back of this publication.

Cyprus tax residents are taxed on all income accrued orderived from all sources in Cyprus and abroad. Individuals whoare not tax residents of Cyprus are taxed on income accrued orderived from sources in Cyprus. An individual is tax resident in Cyprus if he spends in Cyprus more than 183 days in any one year.

 

Title Deeds
Personal Tax Rates
Acknowledgement
Tax Diary
Stamp Duty
Social Insurance
Transfer fees by the Department of Land and Surveys
Trusts
Immovable Property Tax
Value Added Tax
Estate Duty
Capital Gains Tax
Special Contribution for Defence
Special type of companies
Annual wear and tear allowances on fixed assets
Losses carried forward
Tax Deductions
Corporation Tax
Tax Computation
Personal Tax Computation

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