1. Following the negotiations between the Cyprus government and the Troika, as well as the relevant Eurogroup decisions on Cyprus, a legislative package comprising three bills of law has been approved by the House of Representatives, for purposes of budgetary discipline. In particular, the amendments are as follows:
a. The Income Tax (Amendment)(No2) Law of 2013: amends the second paragraph of the Second Schedule of the basic law, 118(I)/2002, so as to increase the corporate tax from 10% to 12,5% with effect from 1 January 2013.
b. The Special Contribution (Defence of the Republic) (Amendment) Law of 2013: the rate of special contribution for the defence of the Republic on interest received or credited by Cypriot tax residents, as provided in Section 3(2)(b) of Law 117(I)/2002, is increased from 15% to 30%.
c. The Imposition of Special Tax on Credit Institutions (Amendment) Law of 2013: amends Section 4(2) of the basic law, 84(I)/2011, so as to further increase the special tax on deposits from 0,11% to 0,15%.
2. The Excise Duties (Amendment) Law of 2013
The new amendment of Law 91(I)/2004 provides for the readjustment of excise duty rates on a regular basis, so as to reflect their real economic value. In particular, under the new provisions, the excise duty rates shall be readjusted by a law approved by the Parliament, following the submission of a bill by the Council of Ministers.
Prior to this amendment, and according to the last amendment of the law in December 2012, the Minister of Finance, taking into consideration the Index of Consumer Prices, had been granted the authority to readjust the excise duty rates by issuing a Decree published in the Official Gazette of the Republic.
3. The Consular Fees (Amendment) Regulations of 2013 – Revision of visa fees
The Cyprus Parliament has passed an amendment of the Consular Fees Regulations, thus revising the consular fees to be paid for purposes of visa issuing. According to the new paragraph 39A of Part II of the Schedule of the said Regulations, the revised fees are as follows:
(i) Airport transit visa: € 15 (from £6)
(ii) Transit visa: € 15 (from £6)
(iii) Short-stay visa (1-90 days): € 25 (from £6)
(iv) Multiple entry visa valid for a period up to five years: € 60 (from £20)
(v) Visa with limited territorial validity: € 25 (from £10)
(vi) Visa issued at the external border: € 25 (from £10)
(vii) Collective visa: € 60 (from £20)
(viii) Long-stay visa: € 60 (from £20)
(ix) Long-stay visa also valid as short-stay visa: € 60 (from £20)
It is noted that the Consular Fees Regulations are issued by virtue of Section 7(2) of the Foreign Service of the Republic Law [Law 25(I) of 2006].