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Measures implemented by Cyprus Government to combat Covid-2019 pandemic

The corona virus crisis has led the Cyprus Government to implement financial and other measures to help the country during these difficult times. The main measures implemented, among others, involve the following:

1) Granting of a “Special Leave” to parents of children up to the age of 15 years or of persons with disabilities, provided that no care allowance is granted for such persons.

2) For businesses that were obliged to suspend their operations and for those businesses that continue to operate and suffer a turnover reduction of more than 25%, a Business Suspension Plan, according to which their employees will receive an unemployment allowance for as long as the company’s operations are suspended.

3) Businesses that employ a maximum of 5 people and provided they retain their employees at work and have suffered a reduction in their turnover by more than 25%, will benefit from a subsidy of 70% of their employees’ salaries.

4) Employees who must be absent from work, either because they fall within the sensitive persons’ category or due to compulsory restraint, will receive sick leave allowance of an average of €800 per month.

5) Time for filing of objections to social security Services for self-employed persons is extended until 30 April 2020

6) The obligation for increased GHS contributions is postponed for a period of 2 months from 31/3/2020, in an attempt to strengthen the health sector in the fight against the virus and not to affect the income of employees and businesses.

7) Obligation to pay V.A.T. by businesses the turnover of which was not more than € 1m according to VAT declarations submitted in 2019 and companies the turnover of which decreased by more than 25%, is extended. Arrangements will be made so that the V.A.T amounts for the said period will be paid progressively until November 11, 2020.

8) Reduction of VAT rates from 19% to 17% for a period of two months and from 9% to 7% for a period of three and a half months, for which specific legislation will have to be enacted, to be put into effect.

9)Special arrangements will be made for those who have joined the installment scheme of tax settlements for as long as the emergency situation lasts.

10)Extension for a period of 2 months of the obligation to file tax returns for those who were required to do so by 31.3.2020. (New deadline 31.5.2020).

The measures are continuously under review and further measures are expected to be implemented in all sectors, to help the country go through these difficult times, as smoothly as possible.