A total of 63,000 companies in Cyprus that the Registrar is trying to write off are stuck in bureaucracy with the Cyprus Tax Department blocking such a move.
And this gives the government a real headache because the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is due to visit Cyprus in November for an evaluation.
The Forum consists of OECD countries, including Cyprus, and other jurisdictions that agreed to implement tax related transparency and information exchange.
Cyprus which has been targeted by international organisations over alleged money laundering activity is keen to clear out its name.
That’s why the two government departments are now zealous in their bid to ensure transparency and combat tax evasion.
Officers of the Registrar of Companies have said the Tax Department is blocking the deletion of the 63,000 companies, many of which are very old, while some 23,000 are even without a postal code.
In addition, the majority of these companies are not viable and do not submit annual reports to the Registrar to indicate that there is some traffic. These companies have been inactive for many years with no managers or secretaries in sight.
And in most cases these companies were registered for some reason and have remained inactive ever since.
The Department of Tax, however, cannot delete them because these companies owe taxes. That’s why tax officers are now processing the data to decide whether to give the green light to the Registrar to delete the companies or whether they will seek to recover due taxes.
The obstacle created is because of the big number of companies, and the government is called upon to seek solutions to facilitate the process so that it is carried out smoothly and quickly.
The previous evaluation by the Global Forum was in 2015.