As published on cyprus-mail.com, Saturday 12 December, 2020.
Cyprus “has shown considerable progress in improving the the exchange of tax information” the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a publication released on Friday.
The OECD performs regular compliance checks on countries to see that ongoing exchange of information takes place; this is about achieving global tax cooperation through the implementation of international tax standards.
Cyprus was evaluated as “Largely Compliant” for the second time, the publication said, since it was first reviewed in 2015.
“Since receiving a Non-Compliant rating in 2013, the advancements in transparency in Cyprus have been significant, leading to an upgrade of Cyprus’ overall rating. Following the Global Forum report in 2015, Cyprus has continued to foster a burgeoning culture of compliance and has made further strides in its regulatory oversight regime, as evidenced in this Report,” the publication noted.
Cyprus has made significant progress in reinforcing the powers of the registrar of companies, and in ensuring the accuracy of information, according to the OECD. The report recommended, however, that Cyprus improve its communications regarding beneficial ownership of companies and trusts.
“The remaining issues identified in the report on Cyprus in 2015 related to the availability of ownership information and timeliness as regards the exchange of information. While the availability of information on companies and partnerships had significantly improved since the previous review (2013 Report) on account of the increased numbers of annual returns submitted to the Registrar and the tax authorities, new procedures regarding the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with these filing obligations were yet to be fully implemented,” the publication said.
“Since 2015, Cyprus has made significant progress in addressing some of the issues outlined above. Following the recommendation in the 2015 Report to observe monitoring and enforcement, the powers of the registrar of companies have been enhanced. Statutory forms for registered entities have been redesigned to try to enhance the accuracy of the information submitted and Cyprus has also significantly improved compliance rates in respect of tax return filings. The Registrar now has the power to strike off any partnership which fails to submit any document required to be submitted by law (e.g. annual return and accounts).”
“Cyprus is recommended to effectively monitor and enforce the obligations to file up-to-date legal ownership information with the Registrar and file timely tax returns with the tax authorities, which support the availability of information in Cyprus. Cyprus is also recommended to provide status updates to its Exchange of Information partners within 90 days where it is not able to provide a full response within that time period,” the report said.
Progress should continue to reach a satisfactory level, the publication concluded.