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No plan to hike taxes — Finance minister


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — The government is “committed” not to impose new taxes or increase them, Minister of Finance Mohamad Al-Ississ said on Monday.
Speaking during a joint press conference with Director General of the Income and Sales Tax Department (ISTD) Hossam Abu Ali reviewing the government's ongoing efforts to combat tax evasion and preserve public money, Al-Ississ stressed that 643 inspection tours were carried out to combat tax evasion during the first six months of 2020. 
The ministers highlighted the ministry’s keenness to protect confidentiality of taxpayer’s information. 
Reviewing government endeavours towards improving the private sector, the finance minister said that inspection  teams have been provided with camera and they have been accompanied by representatives from the public prosecution office.
During the press conference held at the Prime Ministry, Al-Ississ said that the government is committed “to distribute the tax burden fairly”, noting that this objective is achieved by combating tax and customs evasion.
“Tax investigation tours were not random, but were based on studies, without targeting anybody, he said.
Al-Ississ pointed out that 306 taxpayers have responded and settled their taxes for the first time, 144 referred to complete auditing procedures, while 103 taxpayers have been obliged to register with the tax department for the first time, while 90 taxpayers referred to court.
“The government's door is open to resolve the issue of tax evasion through out of court settlement,” the minister said, affirming transparency in settlements.
He noted that no settlements will be conducted in closed rooms without announcement.
The minister stressed the importance of taxpayers voluntarily coming forward to ensure a fair distribution of tax burden.
"We seek to change the attitude of tax evasion into voluntary compliance," he said.
He also added that the department detected tax differences totalling JD371 million. The minister noted that all collected money will go to the Treasury to be allocated for priority programmes, notably bread subsidy, which will be disbursed after Eid Al Adha holiday, improving public schools, healthcare services and youth recruitment programmes. 
Also speaking during the press conference, Abu Ali highlighted the ISTD's efforts to increase the efficiency of tax auditing.
The Tax Law considered the principle of enhancing confidence among tax auditors and taxpayers, he said, adding that a department for tax cases, independent of the audit department, have been established to enhance the concept of administrative grievance, he said.

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