New Law on Taxation of property for VAT purposes

The House of Representatives of Cyprus has voted on a number of amendments to the VAT legislation for EU harmonisation purposes, which are listed below.

Under the new provisions:

VAT is charged at a rate of 19% on the transfer of the ownership of undeveloped land, which is intended for the construction of one or more fixed structures and is carried out in furtherance of the business (the meaning of undeveloped land will be determined by regulations to be issued by the Council of Ministers).

The lease or rental of immovable property to a taxable person for furtherance of the business is considered as a taxable transaction and is taxed at a rate of 19%, unless the building is used as a dwelling (this applies provided that the commencement of the lease or rental agreement was on or after the coming into effect of the amending law). The lessor may opt for the exemption from VAT of the lease or rental of immovable property (subject to terms and conditions which will be determined by notification in the Official Gazette of the Republic), provided the lessor informs the Tax Commissioner of this decision (the lessor cannot subsequently change the decision for the exemption from VAT of the lease or rental).