Tax Relief for Natural Persons investing in Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises.

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Tax Relief for Natural Persons investing in Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises.

APRIL 3, 2023 The development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Cyprus has been a priority of the National Policy Statement. As a means to encourage investment, the Income Tax Law was amended to include tax relief provisions for natural persons who invest in innovative investments.

  • 13 August 2023
  • Author: FinHub
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Tax Relief for Natural Persons investing in Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises.

Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprise is defined as an enterprise that:

(a) carries out business within the Republic of Cyprus;

(b) and at the time of the investment, it is a non-listed SME and it has drawn up a business plan for its risk finance investment and in addition, meets at least one of the following conditions:

(i) does not operate in any market, or

(ii) carries on business in any market less than seven years after its first commercial sale, or;

(iii) needs an initial risk finance investment which, based on a business plan drawn up for a new product or the penetration of a new geographic market, is higher than 50% of its average annual turnover over the previous five years.

The enterprise will not fit the requirement for a small and medium-sized enterprise if:

(c) at any time, it receives a total risk finance investment that exceeds €15 million.

(d) is listed on the Cypriot or any other stock exchange.

The enterprises are divided into existing businesses with financial history, businesses in the start-up phase without financial history, and businesses that receive a certificate without assessment. Each category has different criteria for qualification. The Company will submit an application to be designated as innovative to the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy which will evaluate the application judging whether the enterprise meets the criteria of its business category. The deputy ministry will respond to the completed application within a month of receiving it. In order to renew its certificate, the company must submit a certificate from an external auditor to confirm that the research and development expenses represent at least 10% of the business’s total operating expenses in at least one of the 3 previous fiscal years.

The investor can declare in their tax return any investment made towards an innovative business after January 1, 2017, and before June 30, 2024, to reduce their taxable income from the year 2017 onwards. The investor may not be permitted to enjoy the tax relief in case they do not hold the investment in the small and medium-sized enterprise for a minimum period of 3 years or where actions have been taken that aim to grant a relevant discount but exceed the maximum limits established by the relevant legislation.

A qualifying investor may deduct the costs of their risk-finance investment from their taxable income, subject to the following limitations:

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