By Armen Zakarian
The Armenia parliament approved on Friday a package of amendments in twelve tax laws, in a move which the government hopes will boost budget revenues next year.
The deputy minister for state revenues, Armen Alaverdian, said the changes will allow the government to meet its 2002 revenue target of 257 billion drams ($460 million), which is ten percent higher than this year’s. Tax authorities, in particular, are supposed to raises 16 drams in extra revenues through a more effective enforcement of legislation regulating taxation.
Alaverdian said the legislative changes will “clarify and simplify tax-related rights and obligations of business entities.”
The government package, passed in the second final reading, envisages heavy fines on businesses underreporting their profits or posting false financial losses. The ministry for state revenues says tax fraud has become even more widespread in the course of this year.
Another change approved by the legislators raises the financial threshold for the so-called “simplified tax.” Small businesses with an annual turnover not exceeding 30 million ($56,000) can now choose to be exempted from the profit and value-added taxes in return for paying a fixed 7 percent turnover tax. The National Assembly also accepted a government proposal to raise import duties on tobacco and the flat sales tax on liquid gas supplied from Russia and Iran.