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Cyprus' steps towards complex tax transparency and the sector professionals’ perspective

Sector professionals consider tax transparency as one of the industry’s most significant issues, they revealed at the 7th Cyprus International Tax Conference.

With the evident complexity of the tax legislative framework and constant changes in tax practices, ensuring tax transparency is vital to the efficient operation of the business and its compliance, the professionals also agreed.

The above topic was discussed during an interesting panel discussion hosted at the 7th Cyprus International Tax Conference taking place in Nicosia on 20 February, during which experts shared their positions and expressed opinions and suggestions.

Nicos Chimarides, President, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) & Tax and Legal Leader, PwC Cyprus, Costas Markides, Board Member - International Tax and Corporate Services, KPMG Cyprus, Philippos Raptopoulos, Partner - Tax & Law Leader, EY Cyprus, Antonis Taliotis, Tax & Legal Leader, Deloitte Cyprus, and George Themistocleous, Managing Partner & CEO, RSM Cyprus participated in the round table discussion.

Referring to Cyprus in particualr, Chimarides said that "we have to think about what needs to be done further and how to present it better, in order to convince the European Union and investors that we are taking all the necessary measures".

At the same time, he underlined the fact that it has been 20 years since the country carried out a tax reform and therefore, now, it is time to do it again.

Markides commented that today there is a big debate about trust and transparency, because trust between stakeholders and society, more broadly, has been shaken.

The way to restore this shattered trust is to share accessible and understandable information, he said, indicating that this is also the way forward.

He also warned that there is a lot of confidential information being shared and that tax authorities receiving it should ensure they have safeguards in place to protect it.

Raptopoulos commented on situations that will eventually be resolved through tax reform.

He underlined the importance of simplifying procedures and then stated the following: "Stability, fairness, competitiveness are important, but the key is one thing: We must maintain the attractiveness of Cyprus."

Taliotis focused on the current situation, pointing out that there is currently a large volume of information exchange and that the deadlines for this exchange are tight.

He mentioned the conventions signed by Cyprus and the measures taken to enhance transparency. He also pointed out the fact that the method of automatic and voluntary exchange of information is applied, thus wanting to show the country's willingness to promote transparency.

Themistocleous said, on his part, that we must take into account that in Cyprus the greater majority of institutions proceed with the said procedures compulsorily and that further procedures were also in place.

He underlined the importance of the initiatives from the EU and concluded, with the finding that "we are transparent, but we must continue in this way".

The panel was moderated by Kyriakos Iordanou, General Manager of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC).

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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