North Cyprus Legal System – An Overview


If promises could be turned into results then the problems facing many of the property victims would not exist. If Contracts were made to be honoured then none of the problems facing the property victims would exist.

A Contract in any civilised country stands for something and if, as in the case of many victims of the property market in north Cyprus, the contract is breached it can be both a civil and criminal offence. Just because it is said that fraud in north Cyprus is not a criminal offence, does not mean it is not. If you read the legal opinion of the Human Rights activist and Advocate Emine Colak when she gave expert evidence in the SOCA v Gary Robb case in March of this year, she confirmed that breach of contract can be criminal offence, even in north Cyprus.

The human condition however dictates that some inbuilt ‘I am special gene’ exists in those of a dishonest nature and, no matter what, they will turn their undoubted talent to finding a way to rook others. It might be something as seemingly innocuous as tax avoidance. Some, and usually those with a lot of money, object to paying income tax and will find as loopholes in the tax law to avoid paying it. This may seem a victimless act since we all feel we pay too much tax. Not so, if everyone paid their dues then there is a chance we could all pay less. Yes I know, a very small chance, but nevertheless, a chance. Of course some are too clever for their own good and cross over that fine line between tax avoidance and tax evasion and then are committing a crime and many famous people have spent time in prison for this crime.

It may seem extremely clever of those who, for instance, fail to register a business with the tax authority and declare no income at all. It is not clever, it is stupid because sooner or later they will be caught. To fail to tax and insure your motor vehicle is not just careless, it is dangerous because if you cause an accident you are leaving another car owner with no recourse to claim on your insurance and worse still if there is a fatality no chance of compensation for the relatives of the deceased.

In north Cyprus the penalties for being involved in a fatal crash are punitive even if it is not your fault, imagine then being innocent of the cause of the accident but, having no current tax and insurance, prison time will be an forgone conclusion. How many old vehicles do you see on the roads in north Cyprus that are only fit for the scrap yard. You have to wonder how many are taxed and insured and indeed seeing the standard of driving, how many of the drivers have a current driving licence? I have to say that the British and Europeans are conditioned into paying all their car taxes and insurance and so I would be be surprised if they were on the road illegally. I would also be surprised if any British driver were involved in denying the local taxi drivers their livelihood by conducting an illegal taxi service.

Working illegally in a foreign country is also unwise since the punishment if caught can and nearly always is deportation. Yet in north Cyprus there are many, despite knowing the consequences, still take this risk. Indeed there are many foreigners who cheat their fellow countrymen when doing work for them of a slap-shod and unprofessional nature. In north Cyprus not all cowboys are home-grown by any means.

Those who avoid paying tax on their lettings in north Cyprus are taking a huge risk. That is not very hard to uncover since, if done properly or if let to a foreigner, a stamped Contract will be an essential. The foreign renters need a stamped Contract for their residency and it is so easy for the Tax office to look to see if income tax is being received by just looking at all the current Contracts. A little more difficult if these are holiday lettings being advertised in the country of residence of the owners, though even this is not as difficult to detect as it used to be thanks to the internet. It is better to pay your dues and be entirely legal, you then have nothing to worry about.

Legal Eagle

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