South Cyprus government to tax GC refugees who accept property compensation?

Taxing Refugees
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the south’s government have so far said they would charge capital gains tax for Greek Cypriots who accept compensation from the Immovable Property Commission in the north but with an estimated £10bn of compensation claims this could be a godsend to a struggling economy. Greek Cypriots who accept compensation would likely ask for all sorts of additional payments, especially if their original 1974 property was just a single donum field valued at, say, £6000 when taking into account inflation.

The fact that a field with planning permission might be worth £60,000 would not be taken into account. If the field had been rented for 36 years, at 10% the land value, this would give an income plus rent plus interest figure of around £40,000 for the field. However, the GC refugee might be given £100,000 compensation and this is why the south’s government might be thinking of charging capital gains tax.

Now I’m no tax expert but I know there are all sorts of formulas which are applied to capital gains calculations over long periods of time but I’m sure government tax experts will make sure they find some windfall element in the compensation paid and will be quite happy to keep money for themselves so that they can say, in effect, that Turkey is paying for what they did in 1974. The potential of a billion or two to pump into the economy, plus financially punishing Turkey might well change the south’s attitude towards the IPC.

How to Claim at the IPC
The IPC offices are in Ataturk Square, opposite the court buildings in Lefkosa. Take your original property deeds, some form of ID and any utility bills that might exist from pre-1974. You will be asked if you are seeking restitution, exchange or compensation and will have to fill in a two page questionnaire with explanatory notes in Turkish, Greek and English. The answers, however, must be written in Turkish. Once your claim is accepted you will need to make several appearances in front of the IPC settlement’s court, where Turkish only will be spoken.

According to the Cyprus Mail, the documents you will need are:

1. Application Form. Brief description of claims.
2. Affidavit (detailed information by the affiant regarding the claimed property and claims).
3. Duly approved copies of ID and/or passport.
4. i) Originals or duly approved copies of land registration certificate of the immovable property. ii) Originals or duly approved copies of documents including receipts, cheque, bank transfer, exchange transfers proving the movable property is bought prior to February 13, 1975.
5. Thirteen sets of photocopies of originals or duly approved copies of application form with its attachments; a revenue stamp worth 100TL should be affixed to the application form and revenue stamp worth 2TL for each attachment.
6. In the event that a lawyer makes an application, the retainer should also be filed.
7. Applicants should state if they are holding and/or benefitting from any Turkish property in South Cyprus and should try to document this.
8. When claiming compensation, expressing only an amount is not advisable. Providing valuation report by experts is useful.
9. Applicants should clearly express whether the property on which rights are claimed is subject to a mortgage and/or to a seizure or any other restraint.

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