2018 Tax Revenue Exceeds $5 Billion in Jordan

Published January 3rd, 2019 - 09:57 GMT
Tax department attributes rise to evasion regulations, exemptions. (Shutterstock)
Tax department attributes rise to evasion regulations, exemptions. (Shutterstock)

Tax revenue in 2018 stood at JD4.115 billion, up by 5.3 per cent from 2017’s figures, the Income and Sales Tax Department (ISTD) said on Tuesday.

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, ISTD General Manager Husam Abu Ali said that tighter regulations, designed to curb tax evasion, in addition to temporary fine exemptions on overdue taxes resulted in the increase, which amounted to JD209 million. 

Tax revenues in 2017 amounted to JD3.906 billion.

Abu Ali noted that the department had implemented a plan to audit all sectors, especially those that had evaded taxes in the past, stopping short of naming them.

The Cabinet’s decision to waive fines on unpaid taxes, generated JD80 million of the increase, which was more than expected, according to Abu Ali.

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Tax offices across the Kingdom saw huge turnout as taxpayers rushed to take advantage of the exemptions, he said, noting that the government has extended the exclusion for another month.

The decision included exempting taxpayers from 100 per cent of the fines and fees of overdue taxes if they make their payments within a certain period of time. The move was aimed at encouraging taxpayers to settle their dues in order to generate more revenue for the Treasury, Petra added.

At the beginning of last year, the former government increased the sales tax on commodities, that were subject to 0-4 per cent sales tax, to 10 per cent.

The total revenues that were expected from the “corrective” measures at the time were estimated at JD540 million plus, which was planned to be generated from lifting the bread subsidy and levying JD500-JD1,500 on imported cars, in addition to a raised special tax on carbonated drinks from 10-20 per cent, on Octane-95 and 98 gasoline to 30 per cent and JD0.20 tax on cigarette packets.

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