Two proposals for a law to extend the deadline for submitting tax returns for 2020 for companies and individuals are being promoted by the Parliamentary Finance Committee, due to the general problems created by the pandemic, but mainly due to the consequences of the invasion of Ukraine. According to the proposals, this deadline will be extended until July 31, 2022 instead of March 31.
The draft laws submitted by DIKO are supported by all the parties that attended the meeting of the Committee as well as the Association of Chartered Accountants of Cyprus (SELK). However, the executive branch disagreed with the ongoing delays in preparing tax returns, so as not to affect the flow of government revenue and discourage timely filing each year.
The Ministry of Finance stated that Cyprus has been given a fifteen-month extension in the submission of tax returns, which is one of the largest in the EU, and that they do not agree that the practice of extensions should continue. The view was also expressed that the reasons for non-submission of declarations in relation to the pandemic no longer exist, while the war that took place 14 days ago is not considered a criterion for non-submission.
Representative of the Tax Department he said they also do not welcome extensions but want compliance. He added that the four-month extension was enough and that the companies should already be ready.
The agreement with the extension was expressed on behalf of SELK, stating that the four months given are not enough when the pandemic continues along with the crisis in Ukraine. He said Russian and Ukrainian clients represent a large percentage of foreign-owned companies, and large tax and revenue figures are currently heavily affected. He added that many of their customers affected by the war did not prioritize tax compliance, and often could not identify them.
The Chairman of the Committee, MP of DIKO Chrysis Pantelidis, in his statements after the end of the Committee expressed satisfaction that all the parties that participated in the meeting of the Committee support the Proposals of the Democratic Party, which will be taken to the Plenary for voting as soon as possible. .
DIKO, he said, submitted the proposal, taking into account the difficult situation in which small and medium-sized enterprises continue to be due to the prolonged health crisis, but also due to the uncertainty and the consequences of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which inevitably affects all sectors of the Cypriot economy.
He also complained that in this case the state did not implement the deadlines it owed. He noted that the law as it stands today gives a deadline of 15 months for submitting the tax return. However, as he said, the state did not upload the relevant statement to TAXISnet until last December. So, as he said, with the responsibility of the state, the deadline of 15 months was substantially reduced to 4 months. He expressed surprise at the negative attitude of the state.
DISY MP Onoufrios Koullas, speaking to the Committee, expressed the view that there are objective reasons why this extension is needed, while he said that he does not consider that the state revenues are affected.
AKEL MP Christos Christofidis said that at the moment we have a crisis within the crisis that causes serious complications throughout Europe and especially in Cyprus due to relations with Russia and Ukraine. He was in favor of the bill, except as he said in case the state will have serious financial consequences.
EDEK MP Elias Myrianthous unreservedly supported the proposal, stating that the only revenue that the state will actually lose will be the fine of 100 euros for late payment of tax returns. He also said that many problems have already been created in the accounting offices due to the pandemic and work from home.
The MP of DIPA – Cooperation of Democratic Forces, Alekos Tryfonidis, also stated that the proposal is in a positive direction.
The MP of the Ecologists 'Movement – Citizens' Cooperation Stavros Papadouris stated that the cost of this proposal is very small, in order to facilitate this world in the midst of war. In this way, as he said, the accounting firms will try to help their clients and keep them for the future, with much greater benefit.