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Collective Investment Schemes in Cyprus: Important Legislative Measures
A series of legislative measures were recently voted by the Cyprus Parliament in order to further encourage the establishment of funds in Cyprus as well as to attract foreign investors and senior executives in firms offering fund administration services in order to relocate to Cyprus and become tax residents of the country. The measures decided are briefly covered below.
Alternative Investment Funds
The Alternative Investment Organisation Act 2018 (the Act) in effect replaces previous laws on the field while modernizing and upgrading the legal and regulatory framework governing investment funds.
It regulates the establishment and functioning of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), incorporating best practices followed by other countries with a long tradition in the field of investment funds, especially in the European area.
Specifically the Act covers the following areas:
the establishment and operation of AIFs, which will not be subject to authorization by the Securities and Exchange Commission, but will be supervised by their manager, which must be licensed;
the initial capital of the AIF;
the appointment of a depositary, depending on the form of the AIF;
the assignment of the management function to the management of the AIF;
the establishment and operation of AIF as a limited partnership with or without a separate legal personality; and
the formation of variable capital companies under the provisions of the Companies Law.
Corporation Tax/Income Tax
An amendment was made so that any investment in a mutual fund or partnership established under the AIF Law and the Collective Investment Schemes (CISs) Law will not be considered as a permanent establishment in Cyprus. Therefore, any income earned by these persons from such investments will be taxed in their country of residence.
The second amendment introduces a special mode of taxation for the variable remuneration received by senior executives of firms offering administration/management services to AIFs, which is in effect a participation in the profits of such funds.
This provides for taxation at the rate of 8% on such remuneration, with a minimum tax payable of €10.000 per year (upon meeting certain conditions).
Special Contribution for Defence
The special tax rate of 3% imposed on deemed dividend distributions by AIFs/CISs is abolished.
Thus in cases were deemed distributions rules apply, the rate of taxation to be imposed to the proportion of profits attributable to Cypriot tax resident companies and Cypriot tax resident domiciled individuals will be the standard rate of 17%.