On the 23rd of April 2014 the Cabinet of Cyprus has passed a Bill providing for the establishment of a “Unified Single Tax Authority” which will be dealing with all tax issues in the country. This new unified body will essentially absorb the powers of the Cyprus Income Tax Authority and the Cyprus VAT Authority while the last two bodies will be abolished.
Having done so, the Bill has been referred to the Parliament for approval and therefore it is expected to be examined in the coming weeks.
According to the acting Cyprus government spokesman, the Bill provides, inter alia, for the abolishment of the two directorship positions in the said two fiscal bodies (Income Tax Authority and VAT Authority) and the appointment of a single tax official along with two assistant tax officials.
The Government believes that such unification will highly contribute to a more efficient customer service which will have a positive impact on the country’s revenues mainly due to the more organised and rigorous scrutiny not only of the taxpayers but also of the employees.
It is further anticipated that the said unification, along with the reinforcement of the relevant legal framework, the simplification of the proceedings and the modernisation of the information systems will certainly conduce to the faster handling of the authority’s obligations as well as to the enhancing of tax awareness of the taxpayers.
Finally, it should be highlighted that this movement has been part of the government’s commitments towards TROIKA and the International Lenders. In any case, the proposed reshuffle is following the current trend in almost all the European Union countries and it is undoubtedly something that should have been done ages ago. In consideration with the above, it is anticipated that the Bill will pass relatively easily by the Cypriot Parliament and that the new Legislation is almost on the doorsteps.
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