Insider Economy Tax arrears scheme used as a vehicle to avert prosecution

Tax arrears scheme used as a vehicle to avert prosecution

A number of taxpayers who owe large amounts to the Tax Department and faced legal action have managed to exploit ‘gaps’ in the law regulating tax arrears. Specifically, they have submitted applications to join the Tax Arrears Scheme, thus, prosecution was automatically averted, Tax Commissioner Yiannis Tsangaris told parliament on Monday.

By law, legal action against those who apply to join the Scheme is suspended and the Commissioner has recommended that this is amended. The law should allow the suspension of criminal proceedings only at the discretion of the Commissioner, he also said.

The revelation came to light during a debate in the House Finance Committee on new proposals regarding the existing Arrears Scheme. These were jointly proposed by opposition parties Diko and Edek.

Under the new proposals, taxpayers who participated in the existing plan and withdrew due to non-compliance with its provisions will be eligible to join it again. The Tax Commissioner said such proposals create a moral hazard for citizens not to pay.

He also said that the arrears system is computerised and does not allow a taxpayer to be included in the plan unless all old debts are settled first.

The tax arrears scheme now includes 26,689 natural and legal persons with tax liabilities of €836 million. However, due to the deductions granted by the state it will receive an amount of €679 million, according to information submitted Parliament.

In addition, 4,336 settlement cases have been suspended because taxpayers stopped paying the instalments they had agreed to.


Read more:

Top Stories

Drop in new covid cases and hospitalised, 202 and one death

  Cyprus recorded one covid-19 death over the past 24 hours, raising the number of victims to 167, 111 men and 56 women with an...

Rapid test locations on Sunday

  Here are the rapid test locations for Sunday January 17 Limassol Tassos Papadopoulos Building-Technical University Limassol (corner of Ifigeneias and Themidos) 8.30-04.30 Ayia Varvara Church Zakaki 9.00-04.30 Ayios Stylianos Church,...

Low visibility on highways as bad weather continues

  Visibility is very low on the Larnaca-Nicosia and Nicosia-Limassol highways, with the network near the Mosfiloti area becoming waterlogged. Police are calling on drivers to...

Explainer: Can Trump pardon himself? Would the courts reject the move?

  As he prepares to end a tumultuous four years as U.S. president facing potential legal jeopardy, Donald Trump has discussed the possibility of pardoning...

U.S. state capitals on edge for armed protests as Trump presidency nears end

  U.S. law enforcement officials are gearing up for pro-Trump marches in all 50 state capitals this weekend, erecting barriers and calling in their National...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...