Art And Culture

Tax Relief for Booksellers

Tax Relief for BooksellersTax Relief for Booksellers

Over 600 booksellers and publishing houses will be exempted from tax payment as per a law passed in 2014.

The law was first passed in 2001 but the tax administration said the executive guidelines would need amendments.

“It took the Iranian National Tax Administration (INTA) and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance 13 years to address the problem,” Khabaronline reported.

The book industry overall is not making enough profits to pay taxes, a bookseller said, adding: “Taxation adds to our problems. Everyday more bookstores are pledged to banks as collateral or substituted with other commercial units due to the financial problems.”

After the 2001 law was enacted, some auditors violated the rules and insisted on collecting taxes from the book industry.

Earlier, a group of publishers wrote to the president and asked him to resolve the problem. They referred to the 2001 law, based on which tax exemption is given to all cultural, artistic, press and publication activities, provided they hold a license issued by the Ministry of Culture.

 They said it shouldn’t be considered “a privilege for the book industry to be exempted from tax, but rather should be seen as compensation for their unsparing efforts.”

Ultimately, due to the efforts of Seyyed Abbas Salehi, the cultural deputy at the ministry, a list of 600 bookstores and publishers was sent to the INTA for enforcement of the law.

 Although 511 bookstores and 176 publishers should be granted exemption, auditors “are harassing some of them by asking for more documents and certificates.”

Salehi urged INTA to consider the complaints and hoped tax collectors will be satisfied by checking the commercial serial number issued by the Publishers’ Union.