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Property tax: second attempt of Ukraine and European experience

As informed before, in the end of 2014 Verkhovna Rada has adopted amendments to the Tax Code among which is new property tax. Today ‘Vector news’ will compare features of its payment in Ukraine and abroad. This, this reform refers to the property with more than 60 square meters for apartments and more than 120 square meters. Tax rate will depend on discretion of local authorities, but should not exceed two per cents from the minimal salary, namely 24 hryvnas per square meter beyond the norm. Database of taxation will be also extended – commercial property will be included there as well.

First, shopping and office centers will be taxed. Though this tax will not be imposed on places of worship, small architectural forms, markets, production premises and commercial property of agricultural producers such as pigsties, cow-houses, granaries and other types of property as of the list prescribed by the law or the local council’, - explains deputy Anton Gerashchenko on his Facebook page.

During his final press conference the Prime-Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk emphasized that first of all property tax is a way to decentralization. ‘This tax is imposed not by the Cabinet of Ministers. All the regions strive for decentralization, they say, that they should be given opportunity to receive profits and be economically independent on their territories. And the property tax is imposed and charged exclusively by the local authorities. It is possible that in the certain regions they will take another decision – this is their business, but also their responsibility,’ – said Yatsenyuk.

Since 2012 in Ukraine the tax was imposed on the owners of the apartments with space covering more than 100 square meters and houses with space starting from 250 square meters. Before in case if the space of the apartment exceeded 240 square meters, tax rate comprised one per cent of current level of minimal salary. If the space exceeded the margin, the tax rate was amounted to 2.7 per cent of minimal salary (around 29 hryvnas in 2012). Coming into effect of this property tax was postponed many times. Experts believe that effectiveness of this taxation scheme was not justified. Moreover, one could find ways to bypass it by having registered the right of property to few people or having concluded a contract of gift with relatives.

Property tax in the EU countries is common. Not taking into account Ireland and Malta, these norms are prescribed in legislation of every country, but the calculation methods differ. Mostly the tax rate is defined proportionally to the cost of property. Percentage based on the price of the object is calculated in Cyprus, Hungary and Greece where objects are divided upon the price criteria into those released from tax and those with medium t(from two to seven per cents) and maximum tax rates; in Cyprus property with estimated  price exceeding 800 thousands euro is taxed with eight per cent. It is considered that the highest taxes are paid by residents of Germany and Denmark. Adopted in Ukraine scheme of calculation is similar to the calculation scheme of some EU countries. According to GPG, the tax rate calculated per every square meter is applied in Poland (0.17 euro per square meter), Slovakia (0.033 euro per square meter) and Czech Republic (from 0.08 to 0.4 euro per square meter). But the fixed rate established by the municipalities is commonly used in Great Britain and France. In Britain the tax amount depends on the region and can reach three thousands euro per year, while in France owners of property pay regardless of the place of residence as well as the tenants (the owners or those who rent). Tax amount depends on the area, size of property and comprises 400-1500 euro per year.

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