Cyprus tax residency rules to be amended and the law is expected to come into force on the 1st of January 2018.
The 183 days rule will be replaced with the following criteria which must be met for an individual to be considered tax resident in Cyprus:
Individuals who are tax resident but not domiciled in Cyprus will be exempt from special defence contribution. The amendment will allow individuals who are not a tax resident in any other state to be considered as a tax resident in Cyprus and enjoy generous tax incentives.
The Malta Gaming Authority Publishes a White Paper Proposing Major Reforms to Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework. On the 12th of July 2017 Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published White Paper proposing reforms to Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework.
According to article published on Malta Gaming Authority website “the main objective behind this proposal, is to repeal existing legislation and replace it with a singular primary Act of Parliament entitled the Gaming Act, together with subsidiary legislation covering the main areas of regulation as well as a series of directives and guidelines issued by the Malta Gaming Authority as the single regulator of this sector. The proposed regulatory framework shall decrease unnecessary regulatory burdens, strength the supervision of the regulator, propose better consumer protection standards, responsible gaming measures and a risk-based approach. It also establishes objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development.
There were changes to the Malta Residence and Visa Programme as per Legal Notice 189 of 2017 as below:
On the 7th of June 2017 Cyprus signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“MLI”). The MLI will implement tax treaty measures in order to reduce opportunities for tax avoidance by multinational companies.
The main impact on Cyprus companies will be Article 6 and 7 which relate to treaty abuse. As a result, Cyprus will implement in its double tax treaties principle purpose test (PPT) and a limitation of benefit clause (LoB). Consequently, it is essential that Cyprus companies owners examine the impact of these changes and ensure that they have sufficient substance in Cyprus. Failure to do so could lead to significant tax implications.
The treaty, based on the OECD model treaty, provides for the following maximum withholding tax rates on dividends, interest and royalty payments:
For the purposes of the treaty, a collective investment vehicle will be considered a resident of a contracting state if, under the domestic law of that state, it is liable to tax therein by reason of its domicile, residence, place of management or any other criterion of a similar nature. Collective investment vehicle will be considered as liable to tax if it is subject to the tax laws of that contracting state irrespective if it is exempt from tax.
The treaty also includes provisions for the exchange of financial and other information. The treaty will enter into force after formal ratification and with respect to taxes will have effect on or after 1 January following the date the treaty enters into force.
On the 3rd of May 2017 Cyprus signed double tax treaty with Barbados.
The treaty is based on the OECD Model Convention and provides nil withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalty payments. The treaty will enter into force after formal ratification and with respect to taxes will have effect on or after 1st January following the date the treaty enters into force.
Mr. Ionas Nicolaou, Minister of Justice and Members of Supreme Court had decided to set up a Commercial Court from the beginning of 2018.
The Commercial Court shall have jurisdiction over matters arising from contracts or disputes between companies, the purchase or sale of goods, the exploitation of oil or gas, the purchase or exchange of shares, intellectual property and insurance affairs. It shall apply to cases the scale exceeds EURO 5,000.000. The seat of the Court shall be in Limassol and Nicosia. The Procedure shall be fast track and to be completed up until 18 months at first instance. The existence of the Commercial Court shall attract new investment and companies.