The reduced rate of 5% applies to contracts that have been concluded from 1st October 2011 onwards provided they relate to the acquisition and/ or construction of residences to be used as the primary and permanent place of residence for the next 10 years.
The reduced rate of 5% VAT applies on the first 200m2 whereas for the remaining square meters, as determined by the building coefficient, the standard VAT rate is imposed.
The reduced rate is imposed only after obtaining a certified confirmation from the Tax Commissioner.
The eligible person must submit an application on a special form, issued by the Tax Commissioner, which will state that the house will be used as the primary and permanent place of residence. The applicant must attach a number of documents supporting the ownership rights on the property and evidencing the fact that the property will be used as the primary and permanent place of residence. The application must be filed prior to the actual delivery of the residence to the eligible person.
As of 8th June 2012 eligible persons include residents of non-EU Member States, provided that the residence will be used as their primary and permanent place of residence in the Republic of Cyprus.
The documents supporting the ownership of the property must be submitted together with the application. The documents supporting the fact that the residence will be used as the primary and permanent place of residence (copy of telephone, water supply or electricity bill or of municipal taxes) must be submitted within 6 months from the date on which the eligible person acquires possession of the residence.
A person who ceases to use the residence as his primary and permanent place of residence before the lapse of the 10 year period must notify the Tax Commissioner within thirty days of ceasing to use the residence and pay the difference resulting from the application of the reduced and the standard rate of VAT attributable to the remaining period of 10 years for which the property will not be used as the main and primary place of residence.
The private residences must be used as the main and permanent place of residence for a period of 10 years. In addition, persons who have already acquired a residence on which the reduced VAT rate was imposed, can re-apply and acquire a new residence on which the reduced VAT rate will be imposed, irrespective of whether the 10 year prohibition period for using the residence provided or in the legislation has lapsed or not.
A condition for this to apply is that in case the 10 year period of using the residence as the main and permanent place of residence has not lapsed, the persons must pay back to the Tax Department the difference in the VAT between the standard and reduced VAT rates applicable at the time of the acquisition or construction of the residence.