Iran collects additional $1.8 bln in taxes

Iran Materials 7 December 2011 17:30 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 7 / Trend M. Moezzi/

Reforming Iran's tax structure and instituting the Value Added Tax (VAT) have reaped the government $1.8 bln (180 trillion rials) more in taxes over the last three years, according to the country's minister of economics and finance Fars news reports.

The country's overhaul tax framework was achieved with the cooperation of the administration and the parliament and its positive effects can be seen in Iran, said Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini, the Iranian economy minister.

Hosseini emphasized that the program to reduce subsidies will be successful through public education and a decrease in energy use shows how well the program is working as it heads into its second phase. Soon there will be a conference with Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to discuss the targeted subsidies law and its effects, Fars reports.

Iran's target subsidies program has paid out nearly $800 million more in subsidies than it has earned, Fars news cited a member of the parliament's planning and budget commission Moussa Al-reza Servati as saying.

The targeted subsidies program has paid out more than $25 bln (about 250 trillion rials) on a budget of about $18 bln (180 trillion rials). The $800 million difference has been borrowed from Iran's Central Bank and must be repaid to the treasury by increasing prices for energy carriers.

The Iranian government pays each citizen $45 a month as a compensation for a part of commodities and energy subsides, which were cut in December 2010.

Mentioning the unsuccessful attempt to impeach him, Mr. Hosseini said impeachment has a process that should be followed to shed light on problems but it should be used to serve the people not shortsighted interests.