Cyprus Mail

MPs give taxman added powers to seize valuables

THE House plenum approved unanimously on Friday the regulations for the seizure of the movable property of those who have accumulated debts to the Tax Department and VAT.

The regulations provide for the seizure of cars, boats and of valuable objects. Exempt from seizure are items necessary for the survival of debtors such as wheelchairs, medical equipment and tools used for the debtors’ work, worth up to €6,000.

MPs urged the tax department to begin with the “big fish”.

The Greens’ MP Giorgos Perdikis, said during discussion on the regulations that this was a tool in the hands of the government to collect some of the arrears amounting to approximately €2bn. He added that the 0.5 per cent of debtors is responsible for 30 per cent of these arrears.

“They don’t have to take away their expensive Rolex, but there must be other things for seizure,” Perdikis said.

Edek MP Ilias Myrianthous urged the tax department to “handle with sensitivity” those business owners who could not pay their dues after losing their bank deposits during the haircut.

Akel’s Aristos Damianou said that despite the legislative body giving a number of “powerful tools” to the government as regards the collection of debt, some continue to get away, while others suffer.

MPs also said that they would request an update report in six months, with data on what has been seized.

“Whether they seized €100,000 worth of cars or bicycles, we want to know,” Diko MP Angelos Votsis said.

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