The Internal Revenue Department (IRD) collected €11m since last week when the scheme for the settlement of due debts kicked in, it was announced on Thursday.
According to tax department senior official, Klelia Papadopoulou, around 500 applicants – private individuals and companies – who chose to benefit from the scheme, paid in total €11m to settle overdue debts. These cases concern applicants who chose to settle their debts by paying a single lump sum and benefited from a 95 per cent exemption from the additional financial charges imposed on them.
These 500 payments concern immovable property tax on undeclared property and income tax, Papadopoulou said.
As of Monday, the tax department is to also start accepting applications for payment of overdue debts in instalments, Papadopoulou said. Overdue debts under €100,000 can be paid in 54 monthly instalments whereas those exceeding €100,000 can be paid in 60 instalments. Taxpayers opting to pay in instalments, will benefit up to a 50 per cent reduction of penalties, such as interest, depending on the due amount.
Those wishing to settle their overdue debts through this scheme, have to have filed their tax returns until 2015. The Tax Department will accept applications for the scheme, until October 2, she said.
Papadopoulou expects that the state will collect a significant amount of money from the collected taxes, as many are expected to benefit from the scheme. Overall, overdue taxes amount to over €1 billion.
The scheme was introduced after parliament passed in January legislation affording people the opportunity to repay overdue taxes in monthly instalments.
The law concerns debts to VAT, immovable property, income tax, temporary defence contribution, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duty, and the temporary contribution in the public and private sectors.
The system giving people the ability to pay their overdue taxes online through the Ariadni Government Gateway Portal – https://eservices.cyprus.gov.cy/ – should be up and ready soon, Papadopoulou said. At the moment, those wishing to benefit from the scheme can do so through the Tax Department offices.