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IMF Urges Action From Lebanon On Tax Take

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

31 January 2017


Lebanese tax collections have declined by four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) over four years due to earlier cuts to fuel tax and deteriorating compliance rates, the International Monetary Fund said.

The IMF highlighted that last year, also in its Article IV consultation for the country, it had called for a number of measures to buoy tax revenues, which have been in decline. It had called for increased taxes on fuel, an increase to the value-added tax rate from 10 to 11 percent, an increase in the tax rate on interest income from five percent to seven percent, an increase in capital gains tax on real estate transactions, and the introduction of a new stamp duty and fees.

However, the IMF said in its new consultation for the country that the nation remains in the same predicament. Urging Lebanese authorities into action, the IMF again called for the aforementioned measures to be effected and also called for the 15 percent corporate income tax rate to be raised to 17 percent.

It added that "increasing fuel taxation is overdue" and "there is scope to increase tax compliance," with tax collections said to be worth only 50 percent of attainable revenues.

The IMF said that Lebanon could potentially double its tax revenues to around 30 percent of GDP.

TAGS: compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | interest | corporation tax | fees | stamp duty | Lebanon

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