A new legislation, according to which the Tax Department will have the authority to tap into bank accounts of taxpayers without a court order in order to obtain any unsettled taxes, is expected to be enacted soon. The legislation was voted a few months ago for the purpose of boosting governmental funds and it was recently announced by the Cyprus Minister of Finance during the parliamentary discussions that the new law will be applied as early as March 2015.

In other words, the Tax Department will be able to bind bank accounts and seize money owed to the state resulting from tax obligations and for whatever reason these were not settled.

The Minister has also pointed out that the largest portion of the State’s total revenue is derived from the Department of Taxation, in an attempt to show the importance of retrieving the additional funds.

More specific, out of the €5,5 billion State revenue the €3,5 billion is from taxes €0,6 billion from Customs and the remaining amount from other sources. The amount of tax obligations owed is estimated at around €2 billion; however this is significantly reduced if the amounts relating to cases that are under objection or before court proceedings and in cases were there has been liquidation, bankruptcy or the taxpayers have died are not taken into consideration. If the aforementioned cases are not accounted for, the resulting amount is €306 million, consisted of direct and indirect taxes due.

The Minister had also referred to other radical changes that have taken place or are planned to be implemented in the near future such as the union of the departments of direct and indirect taxation, the creation of the high taxpayers unit and the legislation for the confiscation of wealth in cases of outstanding tax obligations.