Culture Ministry excludes high income artists from tax exemption: official

December 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Deputy Culture Minister for Legal Affairs has said that artists and cultural organizations with high incomes are excepted from any tax exemption.

“We as the major cultural organization of the country believe actors, singers, institutes or any other organizations with a high income must pay tax, but their incomes should be investigated,” Ali-Asghar Karandish told the Persian service of FNA on Wednesday. 

Based on Article 139, Section L of Iran’s tax law, 273 cultural and artistic activities being performed under the authorization of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance are exempted from paying the tax.

Earlier last week, some reports published on Iran’s budget bill for the upcoming year announced the government’s plan to reduce the tax exemption to 50 percent.

Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi stepped into the issue on Saturday by requesting a continuation of the tax exemption for cultural and artistic activities in letters sent to President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

Consequently, Vice-President Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht, who is also the director of the Management and Planning Organization, announced on Sunday that the government is extending the tax exemption for artistic and cultural activities.

However, Karandish said that the issue should be discussed in meetings between the Culture Ministry and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

“It’s not right and proper to cancel the exemption or add to it as result of a media frenzy,” he noted.

Photo: Auctioneer Hossein Pakdel takes a bid for the sale of a painting during the 11th Tehran Auction at the Parsian Azadi Hotel in Tehran on July 5, 2019. (Mehr/Asghar Khamseh)

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