Cyprus is unique when it comes to the taxation aspects of living on the island. Cyprus has conducted treaties for the avoidance of double taxation with Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, UK, USA and Yugoslavia. Furthermore there are negotiations for the ramification of treaties with Egypt, Malta, Syria, Belgium, Finland and the countries comprising the Commonwealth of Independent States. The main purpose of these treaties is the avoidance of double taxation of income earned in any of these countries.
For example, United Kingdom citizens may take advantage of the Double Taxation Treaty existing between the U.K. and Cyprus. This enables you to receive your pensions and investment income in Cyprus FREE of U.K. withholding tax. This Treaty is unique to Cyprus since it includes both public and private sector pensions.
Furthermore, Cyprus taxes the assets of expatriates only on a remittance basis. Many expatriates can, therefore, keep assets growing free of tax in an offshore bank, investments or trust, and simply bring into Cyprus what they need. The remittance system compares extremely well with the more common world-arising tax system, used in many other countries, including favoured sunspots like Spain. Recent tax reforms sharply reduce the tax burden in alien residents, in recognition of their value to the economy.
Individual alien residents are now taxed on a flat basis of 5% per annum on pension and investment income brought into Cyprus. In special circumstances exemptions totalling up to CYP 4,000 per person or CYP 8,000 per married couple may apply. Consequently, the total tax burden on alien residents is in practice often only 3%. This compares dazzlingly with competing destinations where property owners are subject to high tax exposure up to levels of 60%.
Insurance pensions can be paid to retirees in Cyprus on a similar tax free basis, and are index-linked by virtue of the Reciprocal Agreement, compared to their "frozen" status in other overseas destinations.