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Cyprus at the crossroads; why the Cyprus International Business Companies and International Trust still remain the best options
Following the 2013 infamous “haircut”/bail – in the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with Eurogroup’s and Troika’s decisions, friends and foes were startled and alarmed, of what the consequential implications would be on the smooth operation of the corporate, paralegal and fiduciary services sector.
Five years down the line and taking into account our firm’s day to day in depth involvement and expertise in the said sector, we can quite safely state the following:
Cyprus International Business Companies
- The tax corporate rate of 12.5% on the actual profits of a company incorporated in Cyprus (i.e. after deductions/allowances on social insurance, costs, running expenses commercial purchases, dues etc are made), is second to none, not only within the European Union but worldwide.
- All non Cypriots with emphasis on European Union citizens, can freely and effectively acquire moveable and immovable property in Cyprus or elsewhere abroad (e.g. second /holiday home), with less bureaucratic procedures than in the past and at better prices, through their Cyprus companies.
- KYC (know your client and due diligence) and banks’ procedures in accordance with the updated legislation are very efficient and subject to high internationally accepted standards from a financial, accounting and corporate point of view.
- Legal and consequential corporate - fiduciary services not only remain intact, based on the Common Law system by analogy to the applicable laws and procedures of England and Wales, but additionally they have been fortified and enhanced by updated legislation, which has been well received and approved by the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bar – Lawyers’ Association.
- Essentially and in accordance with the said updated legislation, nominee and trustee services, can only be provided by duly authorized practitioners, which are strictly regulated and supervised by the highest standards or internationally acclaimed professional bodies.
- Avoidance of double taxation treaties with the Republic of Cyprus as a signatory, along with a substantial number of countries worldwide, remain in force and keep being updated.
- Generous fiscal, financial and consequential incentives have been introduced, allowing residency and potential acquisition of European Member State Citizenship, permitting establishment, work, movement and retirement for non European Union citizens, through companies incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus.
Cyprus International Trusts
- All of the above equally apply to international trusts incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus with additional tax incentives (0% tax rate based on specific legal criteria) and the option for high networth individuals to manage effectively their assets and property, whilst continuing their day to day business dealings abroad.
- The great option of International Trusts incorporated in Cyprus, allows as per the updated legislation, ownership of movable and immovable property worldwide, as well as potential distribution of estate and assets, by incorporating a will therein as per wishes with no limitations timewise.
As a conclusion and whilst limiting ourselves to a non exhaustive summary note, based on our hands on experience gained during the past year and 20 years before that, we are confident that the answer in the affirmative is self explanatory and self evident.
Further information, specific guidance and advice can be readily provided upon request and instructions in writing. Kindly take a moment to visit our website www.agioannideslaw.com
Alexandros G. Ioannides
Managing Partner of Alexandros G. Ioannides & Associates
Advocates & Legal Consultants