Tehran University economist Mousa Ghaninezhad tells Radio Farda that the tax system targets the middle class, while major state-owned enterprises and religious-economic cartels pay little or no taxes, either because of their charity status or due to lack of profits. He suggests reforming the tax system by requiring taxpayers to file personal income statements. August 30, 2004 - Tax system focuses on the middle class, and the middle class is shrinking, officials warned. Economist Mousa Ghaninezhad suggests reforming the tax system by requiring taxpayers to file personal income statements.
The tax system focuses only on wage-earning classes, and leaves alone dealers, brokers and economic go-betweens, according to MP Mohammad Khoshchehreh, head of the Majles finance and economic affairs committee.
Meanwhile, head of the Tehran University’s social science faculty Mohammad-Taqi Azad-Armaki said the middle class was shrinking, as a result of falling incomes.
“A main problem in our economy are the state enterprises, which pay taxes, but because of their low profitability, create little or no income for the government,” Tehran University’s Mousa Ghaninezhad tells Radio Farda’s broadcaster Mahmonir Rahimi.
“Recent tax reform in which corporate tax rates were reduced was a positive move, since it could help spur economic activity. Now we need to begin taxing the consumers and the wealthy, those who benefit most from economic growth. This requires filing personal income statements, for which we have no law at the moment,” Ghaninezhad adds.
He says major economic-religious cartels, such as Bonyad Mostaz’efan (the Foundation of the Dispossessed) Komiteh-ye Emdad-e Emam (Imam’s Aid Committee), Astan-e Qods (Imam Reza Shrine Endowment) and Bonyad Shahid (Martyrs Foundation) were exempted from paying taxes, since their activities are categorized as charity, however, the companies under their control pay their taxes.