Vulnerable groups of the population as well as small businesses seem to be excluded from proposed legislation in Cyprus aiming to strengthen legal ‘weapons’ against tax evasion, Phileleftheros reports.
The Department of Tax plans to issue a decree notifying the public over these exemptions once the bill is approved by parliament.
Specifically, the bill proposes six major amendments one of which is the mandatory filing of a tax return regardless of income. That is, no matter how low the income it still has to be declared – with only a few exemptions.
In fact, the Department has already put proposals on the table on the categories of taxpayers that will be excluded from filing a tax return.
And a key consideration is the inconvenience of citizens for whom it is unreasonable to submit employee or self-employed income statements.
The categories that will be excluded include very low-income retirees, Minimum Guaranteed Income recipients, vulnerable groups of the population, and people with very serious health issues and very low income.
On the other hand, Department does not intend to exempt young employees from having to file a tax return even though their remuneration is low, according to insiders.
This is because the Department wants to create a tax culture in Cyprus, plus, tax technocrats will be assisted with statistics and risk analysis data.
In addition, the bill provides that all businesses are required to have a special machine to accept credit card payments. The Tax Commissioner will issue a decree specifying those that will be exempted from this provision.
Specifically, exemptions will relate to the size of the business and areas in which they are located. Very small businesses that basically work two to three months a year only such as those up in mountainous areas will probably be exempted.
Meanwhile, an important provision of the bill is that the Tax Department officer will be allowed to carry out unannounced raids on businesses and places where freelancers work.