Exemption of Income and Property Tax in Free Zones Explained

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Nourlaw-21 May 2018-Tehran- An Iranian tax authority has clarified the conditions for fully benefiting from tax relief in the free trade-industrial zones. According to the Farsi language Audit News Website (www.accpress.com/news), Mohammad Barzegari, the general manager of the Technical and Auditing Office of the Tax Affairs Organization, in response to an inquiry has stated in his letter of reply dated 20.02.1397 (10 May 2018) that , “According to Article 13 of the Law on the Administration of Free Trade Industrial Zones, any kind of activities of juridical and natural persons for the period of 15 years are exempted from payment of income and property tax as from the date of operation cited in the activity license.”

It should be noted that a parliamentary resolution in 2009 had previously extended the period from 15 to 20 years.

Tehran Courts Assigned Two Special Branches for Insolvency and Bankruptcy Cases

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Nourlaw-16 May 2018-Tehran– In light of the increasing list of persons who are indebted to the banks due to the high loans they have received, the number of bankruptcy and insolvency has arisen accordingly. However as reported by Mizan News Agency, some of these applications are fraudulent schemes to avoid repayment of the principal and related penalties.

Mr. Abbas Ali Poriani, the director-general of the general and revolutionary courts of Tehran announced two special branches of Shahid Beheshti Courthouse in Tehran are now dedicated solely to cases of bankruptcy and insolvency. He noted that each month, some 90 applications of bankruptcy and liquidation of companies are filed with the courts of Tehran. He said that investigations show that some of the persons who have applied for the issuance of an insolvency verdict, were not in fact insolvent and had abused the legal relief afforded by an insolvency application.

He stated that to oversee and halt any possible abuse and for protecting the public treasury and national assets, two special branches will now deal exclusively with insolvency and bankruptcy applications in Tehran, so the judges at these courts are in a position to investigate and reject applications in cases wherein the company is not really bankrupt.

Mr. Poriani said, “Investigations show that most of the people who applied for bankruptcy have received huge amounts of credit from the banking system. In one instance a person who had received 3,000 to 4,000 billion Rials from the bank, has now applied for bankruptcy, pretending to be insolvent, while his personal fortune may have risen up to 30,000 billion Rials”!

He urged banks and the Central Bank of Iran to get involved in these matters for preventing violation of people’s rights. He added that if the banks have documents concerning persons who have applied for bankruptcy and insolvency, they can work together with the courthouses so that fair verdicts can be issued in such matters.

Order Registration for Import of All Manner of Goods Obligatory

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Nourlaw- 18 April 2018- Tehran- The Iranian government has adopted a decisive measure for controlling the import of goods and has made mandatory that an order registration is required for all goods commercially imported into the country. Under Iranian law and regulations, the import of goods requires registration of the related application (order) with the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. It literally translates into English as Order Registration (in Farsi the term is Sabte Sefaresh). When the order is approved, the importer has the possibility to buy hard currency from the government in order to pay the foreign exporter. Until recently, the import of certain goods into Iran’s free zones and the like did not need an Order Registration. However, for the purpose of controlling the hectic open forex market as well as protection of domestic production against imports, the Council of Ministers in their session dated 22.01.1397 (11 April 2018), in accordance with Principle 138 of the Iranian Constitution Law and Note 3 of Article 7 of the Law of Combating Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Currency, approved in 1392 (2013) and for regulating and managing the currency market, issued the following decree under No.H55300T/4353- 22/1/1397:
1. The importing of all goods in commercial form into the country either through the Free Trade-Industrial Zones and Special Economic Zones and other entry channels without an Order Registration is prohibited.
2. The foreign currency needed for all the goods and services whose order has been registered, shall be supplied by the banking system and authorized exchange offices within the regulations of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI).
3. Importing goods without transferring foreign currency is only authorized within the law of Export and Import Regulations and Article 38 of its executive ordinance.
4. The Registration Order with the foreign currency of the applicant shall be accomplished within the framework of the instructions of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
5. As from 22/1/1397 (11 April 2017), the foreign currency parity rate is equally set for all kinds of uses at the amount of 42,000 Rials for each US dollar and subsequently will be announced and implemented in line with the floating currency system managed by CBI. The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is obliged to submit the operational plan including the respective guidelines and tasks of the related organizations to the First Vice President and the aforesaid organization is also bound to report to him their performance of these tasks.
6. All exporters are obliged to bring back the foreign currency resulting from export into to the country’s economic cycle according to the arrangements to be set by CBI.
7. Implementation of the obligation foreseen in Clause 6 of this Decree shall be the basis for implementation of tax relief by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance (Tax Affairs Organization).
8. According to Articles 5, 6 and 13 of the Law on Combating Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Currency, approved in 1992 (2013), an integrated trade system, customs system and a mechanism for exchange of information between them shall become effective until the end of the current month, under the authority of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade and the Iran Customs Administration. In addition, the tagging and tracking code of goods within three months will likewise be the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade while the system of inspection and controlling the supply of goods will be undertaken with the cooperation of the Ministry of Intelligence, Governmental Punishment Organization and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.
9. For the purpose of acceleration of implementation of the Law on Combating Money Laundering, approved in 1386 (2007), the banking system is obliged to implement the rules and regulations related to halting money-laundering and fighting against financial support of terrorism as soon as possible. The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance shall be responsible for following and controlling the implementation of this matter. The implementation of the agreement concluded between the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, Ministry of Intelligence and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran concerning comprehensive and uninterrupted streaming of information to the financial data unit is obligatory.
10. The responsibility of implementing the Advanced Passenger Information System (API) rests with the Ministry of Interior (the law enforcement branch of the Islamic Republic of Iran). The Ministry of Interior is obliged to prepare the related system for operation within a period of two months for implementation and all organizations are obliged to cooperate in this respect.
11. The Management and Planning Organization of Iran, Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran are obliged to undertake the necessary steps to reduce the foreign currency demands of citizens travelling abroad and submit their detailed proposals to the First Vice President in this regard within the period of one month.
12. For prevention of capital flight, foreign exchange transfers should only be conducted in accordance with the rules and under the control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the banks and authorized exchange dealers.
13. Foreign exchange operations and foreign currency deals outside the announced regulations shall be considered smuggling and shall be dealt with in accordance with the Law of Combating Smuggling of Goods and the decrees of the Supreme National Security Council and the related organizations (Judiciary, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Intelligence, Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran) shall prosecute the violators according to related laws and regulations.
14. For determining the manner of execution, time schedule and the implementation of this decree, a task force under the aegis of the Central Bank of Iran and with the membership of the ministries of economic affairs and finance and industry, mine and trade, Ministry of Interior and the Management and Planning Organization of Iran will be set in place. The secretariat of the mentioned task force will be located in the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic Iran and the foreign currency deputy of the bank will be the secretary of the task force. The task force is obliged to deliver a weekly report of the implementation of this decree to the President, First Vice-President and the secretariat of the economic staff of the government.
15. In order to cover the difference of the currency parity rate (42,000 rials for each US dollar) with respect to the import of the basic goods and medicaments, the amount of three thousand billion Rials (3.000.000.000.000) will be allocated out of the income accrued from unification of the foreign exchange parity rate. The Management and Planning Organization of Iran and the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Ministries of Industry, Mine and Trade and Agricultural Jihad are obliged to regulate this process to insure that the allocation of credit and goods is coordinated with the arrival of imported goods and submission of shipping documents. The list of the related goods will be supplied by the Ministries of Industry, Mine and Trade and Agriculture Jihad.
16. The amount of foreign currency allowed for each incoming passenger is 10, 000 euros or its equivalent in other currencies. Importing higher amounts if declared according to the rules of the Central bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is permitted.

First Vice-President
Eshaq Jahanghiri

Iran Chooses Euro as the Currency for Reporting, Publishing of Statistics, Information and Financial Data

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Nourlaw- 28 April 2018- Tehran-According to the proposal of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran and in reference to Note 3 Article 7 of the Anti-Smuggling of Goods and Currency Act, approved in 1392 (2013) , the Council of Ministers in their session dated 29/01/1397 (18 April 2018) approved:
1.All of the ministries, governmental organizations and state-run companies are obliged from the date of announcing this decree to incorporate the euro as the basic currency for their reporting and publishing of statistics, information and financial data. Reports, statistics and information which were previously assessed in US dollars, shall be rendered for two years with both the US dollar and euro, When the time frame expires, only the euro will be used.
2.The reports, analysis and statistical data of ministries, governmental organizations and governmental companies in the current and the next year will be given in US dollar currency for preparing a comparison model to allow the possibility of assessing compatibility and evaluation of the tasks done.
3. The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is obliged to continually announce and manage the parity rate of the Rial and euro as from the date of notification of this decree.
First Vice-President
Eshaq Jahanghiri

(Farsi source: Official Gazette 28 April 2018)