EghtesadOnline: The Iranian National Tax Administration identified and collected unpaid taxes worth 184 trillion rials ($1.5 billion) in the last fiscal year the ended in March.
Hadi Khani, the head of INTA’s Tax Inspection Department, said of this amount 147 trillion rials ($1.2 billion) was detected by monitoring suspicious transactions, IRNA reported.
Eleven trillion rials ($92 million) was detected by inspecting books and commercial records of businesses as per the provisions of the Direct Tax Law.
Article 181 of the law allows the INTA tax inspection division to look into taxpayers’ books, documents and records both manually and electronically, Financial Tribune reported.
Khani said his department has examined the books and commercial documents of 600 tax payers and detected additional tax evasion cases worth 40 trillion rials during the first quarter of the current fiscal year to June 22.
Earlier in May, the Central Bank of Iran sent a directive to banks and credit institutions obliging them to report the banking transactions of tax payers to INTA on a monthly basis.
The rule, enshrined in the current budget (March 2019-20), seeks to promote transparency in banking transactions, alleviate money laundering and curb tax evasion.
As per law, on INTA’s request banks and credit institutions must provide data about bank accounts and transactions (both interbank and intra-bank) of tax payers. In addition, the law also allows the CBI to freeze bank accounts of those lacking a national ID number.
The government earned 1,090 trillion rials ($7.26 billion) in tax revenues during the last fiscal year that ended on March 20.
Improving the System
Given the present budgetary constraints, increase in tax revenues is seen as highly crucial for plugging the budget deficit holes. National revenues have been hit hard as the US imposes economic sanctions and further tightens restrictions on Iran’s oil exports – the lifeline of its economy.
The new INTA chief, Omid Ali Parsa, announced earlier in the week plans to modernize the tax system by using verifiable information about the financial turnover and status of taxpayers.
He stressed that the need to reform and modernize the system is now more urgent than ever, as US unilateral sanctions have targeted export revenues.
In the budget for the current fiscal year 1,400 trillion rials ($10.95 billion) has been projected in tax revenues.
Among other things, Khani referred to the founding of shell companies, issuing forged and doctored invoices, superficial export figures, abusing tax exemption rules and sham deals as loopholes that normally assist tax evaders.
About measures on how to curb tax evasion, he pointed to plans to promote taxpayers’ database, tightening oversight of banking transactions and monitoring implementation of the value-added tax law.