A new levy, set at 0.4 percent of real estate transactions, has raised around €43 million to support refugees in financial distress. There are discussions about potential exemptions for sales involving non-performing loans, and taxpayers who qualify may be eligible for refunds.
What is the new levy on real estate transactions aimed at supporting refugees?
A new levy, set at 0.4 percent of the sales price of immovable property transactions, has been established to accumulate funds for humanitarian aid, particularly to support refugees in financial distress. This levy, which also applies to the sale of company shares involving real estate ownership transfer, has already raised around €43 million.
A New Levy to Support Refugees
In the face of rising challenges for refugees, a groundbreaking financial initiative has been launched. A special levy on immovable property transactions has successfully accumulated approximately €43 million, a substantial sum dedicated to aiding refugees who find themselves in financial distress. This levy, set at 0.4 percent of the sales price, was sanctioned by parliament in February 2022 and is also applicable to the sale of company shares that involve real estate ownership transfer, potentially leading to a change in company control.
The Mechanics of the Levy
The primary goal of this levy is to fund humanitarian efforts, ensuring support is available for those most in need. Sellers of real estate are responsible for this contribution, which is managed by the Central Agency for the Equitable Distribution of Burdens. This fund stands as a beacon of hope, a gesture of solidarity in a world where the displacement of people due to various crises has become all too common.
Legislative Changes Under Discussion
There are, however, considerations for amendments to this law. A bill, championed by Dipa MP Alekos Tryfonides, is pushing for a retroactive exemption from this levy for sales aimed at restructuring non-performing loans. These transactions, if conducted between February 22, 2021, and November 17, 2022, could be exempt, potentially affecting sellers who have found themselves entangled with non-performing loans.
Taxpayer Impact and Possible Refunds
Tax Commissioner Soteris Markides has put forth that the proposed adjustment to the law is equitable. The Tax Department has reached out to about 37,000 taxpayers regarding the payment of this fee, which is expected to culminate in a collection of €24 million. Of these cases, nearly 3,000 relate to property sales within the context of loan restructuring, amounting to around €2 million in value. The commissioner has acknowledged receiving numerous complaints and has suggested that those who qualify under the bill’s exemption might be eligible for refunds.
Parliamentary and Budgetary Ties
The proposed legislative change is set for a vote in the House plenum soon. The urgency of the matter has been underscored during the parliamentary scrutiny of the upcoming 2024 budget for the Central Agency for the Equitable Distribution of Burdens. After initial threats by lawmakers to veto the agency’s budget over a €21 million cut by the government, the finance ministry reassured that any necessary funds would be provided to the agency as needed.
The Path Ahead
As the legislation seeks changes that could ease the financial burden on individuals restructuring loans, it remains important to balance this with the ongoing needs of refugees. The fund’s development and potential alterations to the levy highlight the complex interplay between economic policy and social responsibility. While the agency continues to navigate these challenges, the commitment to humanitarian aid remains a cornerstone of their mission.
- A new levy, set at 0.4 percent of real estate transactions, has raised around €43 million to support refugees in financial distress.
- The levy applies to the sales price of immovable property transactions and the sale of company shares involving real estate ownership transfer.
- The funds raised are managed by the Central Agency for the Equitable Distribution of Burdens and aim to provide humanitarian aid to refugees.
- There are discussions about potential exemptions for sales involving non-performing loans.
- Taxpayers who qualify may be eligible for refunds.