Cyprus Tax Department refunds go directly to bank accounts following the installation of a modern electronic system that has put an end to the issuing of cheques.
Insiders told Phileleftheros that the most recent electronic refunds concerned taxes imposed in 2014. One insider specified that the Department has returned €1.5 million which was directly transferred to taxpayers’ bank accounts.
The reimbursement of taxes was based on criteria followed by the Department which also plans to clear 2017 taxes regarding special contribution for defense and interest. The Tax Department had long announced its intention to return taxes electronically to beneficiaries.
As a matter of fact, it had called on both natural and legal persons to proceed with the submission of relevant data enabling electronic tax returns.
The Tax Department deducts tax refunds from its revenue, and this makes it more flexible and more efficient. It basically has no restrictions now since the Department decides on its own over the amount of VAT refunds.
At the same time, delays in returning taxes to citizens and companies have been overcome – to some extent. Last year, the Tax Department refunded taxes amounting to €486.8 million.
Specifically, for the years 2015-2017 the state budget provided tax refunds of €711 million, of which €136.5 million related to direct taxes. In 2015, €224 million were refunded, of which €34 million were for direct taxes and the remaining for indirect ones. A budget of €228.5 million was included in 2016, of which €43.5 million were for direct taxes. Tax reimbursement in 2017 amounted to €209.7 million, of which €58 million concerned direct taxes.
In addition, electronic tax payments through JCCsmart began as of June 1, 2018. These concern provisional tax and income tax (excluding penalties) of natural persons and legal entities. Electronic payments can also be made for special defence contribution on interest, special levy on rentals, special defence contribution on interest received without deduction at source, and the extraordinary defence contribution from dividends.