The Iranian parliament recently decided to begin taxing Islamic charitable foundations at an annual rate of between 15 and 25 percent, in the same manor that all other local enterprises are levied, governmental officials confirmed. The amendment was approved by the state’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reported AFP.
While providing much-needed welfare support, Islamic charitable foundations, known in Farsi as bonyad, control as much as 15 percent of the country’s economic assets and answer only to supreme leader Khamenei. Some grew to become multi-billion-dollar conglomerates, enjoying not only tax exemptions and access to subsidized foreign exchange, but also considerable political influence.
The largest of these institutions, the Foundation of the Oppressed (Bonyad-e Mostazafan va Janbazan), is also Iran's largest holding company, controlling an estimated $12 billion in assets and employing over 400,000 workers in its 1,200 firms, involved in mining, housing construction, transportation and tourism. — (menareport.com)
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