The Parliament of Cyprus has unanimously approved a bill that amends the rules for determining how an individual can acquire Cyprus Tax Residency.
The new Cyprus Tax Residency law is expected to strongly increase the demand and interest of investors and other parties for tax residency in Cyprus, Cyprus company formations and investments in Cyprus.
The Income Tax Law is effectively amended so that an individual, who does not remain in any other country for a period or periods exceeding 183 days in the same tax year and who is not a tax resident in any other country for the same tax year, is considered to be a tax resident of Cyprus, provided that he / she satisfies the following:
- He / she remains in Cyprus for at least 60 days during the tax year.
- He / she conducts any business in Cyprus and / or is employed in Cyprus and / or is a director in a company that is tax resident in Cyprus at any time during the tax year.
- He / she maintains a permanent residence in Cyprus, which can be owned or rented by the individual.
It is important to note that, under the 60 days Tax Residency Scheme, the individual will not be considered as Tax Resident of Cyprus if, in that year, the conducting of a business and / or employment in Cyprus and / or the holding of a directorship in Cyprus have been terminated.
For the purposes of calculating the days of stay in Cyprus please note that:
- The day of departure from Cyprus is considered as one day outside Cyprus.
- The day of arrival in Cyprus is considered as one day in Cyprus.
- Arrival in Cyprus and departure from Cyprus on the same day is counted as one day in Cyprus.
- Departure from Cyprus and return to Cyprus on the same day is counted as one day outside Cyprus.
Thus, under the new provisions, an incentive is given to an individual who is not a tax resident in any other country for the same tax year to transfer his tax residence to Cyprus and be taxed only on income from the activities the individual exercises in Cyprus.
What are the Benefits for an Individual who Acquires Cyprus Tax Residency?
There are many benefits for an individual who acquires Cyprus Tax Residency, some of the most important ones being:
- If the individual is considered as non-domiciled then he will be granted an exemption from income tax and special defense contribution tax on dividends and interest received either in Cyprus or abroad for the next 17 years.
- 50% exemption on income from employment in Cyprus for a person who was not previously resident in Cyprus. The exemption applies for ten years if the income from employment in Cyprus exceeds €100.000 per annum.
- 20% exemption with a maximum amount of €8.550 annually on income from employment in Cyprus of a person who was not previously resident in Cyprus. For employments commencing during or after 2012, the exemption applies for a period of 5 years starting from the tax year following the year of commencement of the employment with the last eligible tax year being 2020.
- Low social insurance contributions (7.8% of gross salary) – total employer contributions to various funds amount to 11.5% of gross salaries and total employee contributions to 7.8%.
- Profits from the trading and disposal of securities (e.g. shares, bonds, debentures) are tax exempt
- No succession taxes
- No withholding taxes
There are additional advantages that a Cyprus Tax Resident individual can enjoy:
- The individual and his / her family can take advantage of an excellent quality of life
- Cyprus (the “Jewel” of the Mediterranean) has one of the best climates in the world – guaranteed sunshine for most of the year with mild winters
- Beautiful, unique natural scenery
- Some of the best beaches in the world
- Modern airports and seaports
- Modern roads
- Good supply of quality housing
- Relatively low cost of living
- Low taxation
- Superb dining
- Rich cultural, historical and archeological heritage
- Friendly and warm Cypriot people
- Huge percentage of Cypriot people speak English
- Modern shopping malls, water parks, world-class hotels, spas, fine dining, cafes, modern hospitals, excellent schools and more
- Low crime rate
- A more relaxed pace of life