2023 - transfer tax in Northern Cyprus has increased till 12%

On 27 January 2023, the TRNC Legislative Assembly passed amendments to the law on transfer tax. In accordance with the amendments, foreigners, except  Turkish citizens, are now required to pay 12% transfer tax in order to get title deeds transferred into their names. This payment will be regardless of whether it is the first purchase or not.

The transfer tax is calculated based on the sale price stipulated in the contract of sale or in accordance with the property value determined by the Land Registry (whichever is higher). 

In addition, on 10 February 2023, further amendments were published in the official Gazette that stipulate the requirements for foreigners  to pay half of 12% transfer fee concurrently with registration of a contract of sale with the Land Registry. The remaining half (i.e. 6% of the sale price) is payable upon transfer of a title deed.

Should the contract be cancelled before the title deed is transferred into the name of the purchaser, the 6% transfer fee which was paid upon registration would be non-refundable.

This amendment took place after the Government decided to create funds to pay for the Immovable Property Commission  decisions. There is a great public objection to the amendment, some lawyers are in the process of filing a petition to the Constitutional Court, claiming that the amendment is against the Constitution. However, despite the petition and ongoing discussions, the amendment  is in force for the time being, and has been put into practise.  In this respect, in order to register the contract of sale in addition to stamp duty(0,5% of the sale price)  the purchaser is required to pay  half of the 12% transfer tax.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

As of 7th of February 2024 the transfer tax at the rate of 12% will be applicable to all purchase transaction regardless of when the contract of sale was registered at the District Lands Office.

The exemption for those who had their contract registered before 10th of February 2023, would pay the transfer fee at the rate applicable in 2022 (i.e. 3% or 6%) HAS BEEN ABOLISHED.

Under the current regulation, foreigners who are in the process of obtaining the title deed in their names and whether their contract was registered before 10th of February 2023 or not are required to pay 12% transfer tax.

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