Time for the Emergency Company Levy to Be Removed

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cyprus company levy

Opinion

During the financial and economic crisis in 2013, the government imposed a levy of 350 Euros per year on every registered company that has to be paid whether the company can afford it or not.

Now that the crisis has passed, however, the levy is still in effect – for no reason.

Companies can be taxed on their income and VAT receipts, so why is the 350 Euros still being charged? It is a blanket tax – with nothing in return – that should be removed by now. It’s 2017 and companies need all the cash they can use to cover their expenses.

It’s an additional burden on companies, especially those that have subsidiaries or that are in losses.

If there is a delay in paying the levy, it goes up to 500 Euros.

It would go a long way in encouraging business if the levy were to be dropped, reduced or charged only to companies that can afford it. A benchmark could be set. Any company with over 20 percent profit on turnover over 50,000 Euros could afford to pay it for example. Start-ups, struggling companies, less or non-profitable companies should be let off the hook. They may be contributing some essential service to the economy but have cash flow problems, for example. Five hundred Euros could mean the difference between small companies paying their rent or employees or not.

If the state is serious about supporting business and developing entrepreneurial ventures, it should remove this levy and come up with different ways to incentivise and invigorate the economy.

You can’t destroy the economy with one hand and keep demanding cash with the other. There are more than enough taxes charged to businesses: licensing fees, VAT, income tax, municipality tax, employment tax, social insurance, redundancy…the list goes on. At least this levy – which was supposed to be temporary assistance for the state during tough times – should be withdrawn.

Four years is too long for a temporary levy.

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