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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Cyprus Vat to rise

 

VAT in Cyprus will rise to 17% from March 1st 2012

According to the Finance Ministry’s V.A.T Service, the increase – part of the government’s efforts to fill state coffers and combat the economic crisis- will not affect products and services where VAT is set at a reduced rate of 5% or 8%.

For Property Buyers:

a] The applicant must be a permanent resident of Cyprus before signing the Sales Agreement.

b] The Sales Agreement is signed with 17% VAT included. A provision is added that if / when the Purchaser obtains approval from the Vat people, he will provide the Vendor with the approval and the Vendor will claim the difference back from the VAT (form 4B) if he has already paid it to the Authorities (VAT payable every 3 months).

After the approval, every other payment shall bear 5%. When the Vendor receives the return from the VAT, he either pays it back to the Purchaser or gives him a credit note.

c] In case of an under construction property, the water and electricity bills must be sent to the VAT within 6 months after the delivery of the property to the Purchaser.

Therefore an E.U. citizen who is not a permanent resident of Cyprus cannot get this benefit unless he first comes to Cyprus, becomes a permanent resident and after 2 years buys a property.

 

Cyprus expats could face prosecution

Cyprus expats could face prosecution because they lack alien registration certificate

THOUSANDS of European expats could face prosecution because they lack alien registration certificates and are unaware that the government has scrapped their ID cards, it emerged this week.
The discovery was made after one British permanent resident tried to replace her stolen Cyprus ID at a citizens’ service centre (CSC) but was told the card she carried since 2000 and its associated ID number were obsolete.
Instead, the Nicosia CSC officer told her she must return to the immigration office to apply for an alien’s registration certificate (ARC) or ‘yellow slip’ in order to access the services their cards provided.
Last year the Interior Ministry withdrew ID cards for non Cypriots who were not permanent residents, pending the introduction of a new biometric ID card.
However, the ministry confirmed the rules apply to all non Cypriots, regardless their marital or residential status, length of stay or the type of ID card, and that biometric cards will not be given to non Cypriots.
The outraged expat, who arrived in 1991, married a Cypriot in 1998 and received her Cyprus ID card in 2000 told the Sunday Mail: “It’s bloody ridiculous. I have been here 20 years. I have jumped through every government hoop imaginable, and to be told I now have to go and get a residents’ permit is ludicrous.”
Without the old ID, she has already run into problems at her local bank, which had continued to identify her by the obsolete number: “My passport and driver’s licence were stolen with my ID, so in the end I had to ask my sister in law, who works at the bank, to vouch for me.”
“What happens now when I want to take my children to the hospital? Do I have to register as an alien when I am already a permanent resident?” She said.
A health ministry official confirmed that anyone who can demonstrate that they are an EU citizen, working and paying social insurance contributions can access government medical care.
He said those who previously had ID cards could register with their passports and social security information, however, the registration is much quicker and simpler for the health ministry with a yellow slip.
Another problem is that the yellow slip is needed to get a driving licence, so driving abroad is now impossible for this expat until she re-registers.
After several weeks of calling, the Sunday Mail eventually tracked down Immigration Services head Anny Shakkali, who said: “We stopped issuing ID cards (to EU citizens) last year. Now all non Cypriots should carry an aliens’ registration certificate. They cannot use their ID cards.”
The change in policy means it is not only permanent residents with foreign passports who now have to face the nightmarish and lengthy bureaucratic process of yellow slip applications. 
EU citizens who were issued the foreigners’ ID cards must also get yellow slips, or face a fine of up to €2,539.
Shakkali claimed it was “impossible” for anyone to live in Cyprus for more than a year without obtaining the aliens registration certificate, despite having referred several cases to the police for prosecution. So how many are in this situation now? 
The ministry does not know, but the total could be substantial: Shakalli acknowledged “tens of thousands” of Europeans had obtained ID cards over the years, although these people were not tracked in and out of Cyprus.
An informal survey of several EU expats by the Sunday Mail also showed several had been here longer than three months without obtaining their slips, and some who were still in possession of their redundant ID cards.
Last year, for example, the Sunday Mail reported the story of British expat Malcolm Jester, who moved to Cyprus in 1993, married a Cypriot and in 1995 began working in a kiosk, without registering: it was only when he was admitted to hospital in 2011 when he had been ‘off the radar’ for 18 years. He was landed with a €4,000 medical bill.
Jester’s story suggests that if you are long term expat with an ID card but no yellow slip, it pays to jump through the hoops before anything goes wrong. 
To do this, you will need to visit the immigration office and provide several completed forms, photographs, a nominal registration fee and your passport. For more information on the process, visit: http://cyprus.angloinfo.com/countries/cyprus/residency.asp
Courtesy Cyprus Mail
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