By Constantinos Psillides
LAND developers have so far paid only a fraction of their immovable property tax (IPT) for 2014, with reports saying that just €328,000 out of a total of €4.2 million was paid.
In a story run by daily Phileleftheros, a high ranking official with the Inland Revenue Department, Renos Ioannou, is quoted as saying that out of the 214 land developing businesses only a few had settled their outstanding IPT obligations.
This comes a year after the state agreed to facilitate land developers so that they could pay the IPT. In 2013 land developers were required to pay a €7 million in IPT but failed to do so, arguing that the required tax was too steep.
The state reviewed its property value estimation to accommodate the companies and even excluded properties the companies didn’t have a title deed for. Despite the revised taxation, land developers still failed to pay their taxes.
Their unwillingness to pay comes in stark contrast with homeowners, 79 per cent of which paid their taxes in time resulting in a €88 million money injection for the government.
The 214 companies are not the only land developers in trouble. A total of 380 land developers failed to properly file their paperwork so the Inland Revenue Department could issue an estimate for IPT and have not yet responded to requests by the IRD to do so.
In October, the House of Representatives approved extending the deadline for paying the IPT until the end of the year, also extending the 15 per cent discount awarded to companies and homeowners who settle their affairs in time.