The Cyprus Lands and Surveys law holds guidance and remedies for the non-payment of transfer fees for the registration of an immovable property title deed by the government or other specific cases.
Generally speaking, transfer fees are not imposed or collected for the registration of a title deed where the property has been acquired:
- By method of gift.
- Through intestate succession or a will.
- Through a lawful heir.
- From the sale from a foster parent to a child.
- From a foster child after the death of his foster parent pursuant to a will.
- Donation from parent to child.
Furthermore, no transfer fees are prescribed in the transfer of an immovable property, which was previously acquired obligatorily and reimbursed from the obtaining authority to its former owner.
This is applicable when a property or land in Cyprus is transferred from business to business by means of restructuring. According to the table of fees and charges as prescribed in the legislation, no transfer fees are applicable where there is an exchange of immovable properties or when the transferred property is situated in an occupied area and the beneficiary has Greek Cypriot nationality.
Recently in Larnaca, the local sewerage board inaugurated proceedings against the decision of the Department of Lands and Surveys which requested payment of transfer fees for the registration of some previously purchased immovable property.
The term financial activity was examined by the Cyprus Supreme Court in the case, which examined the obligation of transfer fees on a public interest organisation in Cyprus.
The Court held that the determining factor of ‘financial activity’ was not competition with other businesses in the area; rather whether the board collects sewerage fees irrespective of the structure of the relevant market or the state interest in the provision of such services.