A bill aiming to regulate and tax holiday rentals on platforms such as AirBnB will cover villas and homes but not apartments and individual rooms. There are some 20,000 such holiday villas in Cyprus.
The bill was submitted by DISY’s Averoff Neophytou and EDEK’s Elias Myrianthis who left out a large number of premises to preempt protests and because of legal complications. They said the new regime will be extended at a later stage. Until then, apartments will continue to be rented over the internet without being checked by authorities as regards safety and hygiene, or being taxed on the revenue from such rentals.
The proposal is to include a provision for the licensing of self-catering establishments. It also sets specifications for such establishments as part of a policy to upgrade the tourist product.
It also provides for the establishment of a register by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation under regulations to be issued by the Council of Ministers. The state will not introduce a different tax regime, but will tax rental revenue as income tax.
The state and local authorities will have revenue from fees and taxes paid for the use of such premises by holidaymakers.
DISY president Averoff Neophytou said that registration will not be compulsory but that renting premises for tourism will be illegal unless these are registered.
EDEK MP Elias Myrianthous said the state is losing revenue and that the new regime will allow quality checks on the services offered
The Interior Ministry has given the thumbs up to the bill and will prepare the regulations for the operation of the register.