The Borneo Post

Jordan MPs approve income tax bill amended after unrest


AMMAN: Jordanian lawmakers on Sunday approved an IMFbacked income tax bill after amendments to a controvers­ial draft of the proposed law that sparked a week of angry protests in summer.

Thousands of Jordanians hit the streets in June to rally against austerity, rising prices and corruption, forcing the prime minister’s resignatio­n and the withdrawal of the bill.

The proposed law on income tax was the latest in a series of policies adopted to cut national debt after Amman secured a US$ 723-million loan from the Internatio­nal Monetary Fund in 2016.

Austerity measures tied to the loan have seen the cost of basic necessitie­s rise across the kingdom.

The original bill, which the government approved in June, raised taxes on employees by at least five percent, and on companies by between 20 and 40 per cent.

These measures were left unchanged in the amended version approved on Sunday, according to state media.

But the revised bill raises the threshold for households to pay income tax to 20,000 Jordanian dinars ( 28,000 dollars) from a previous ceiling of 18,000 for 2019.

The amended legislatio­n also introduced exemptions of up to 2,000 dinars per family for basic expenses such as education and health, and 1,000 dinars per single person “applicable upon the delivery of receipts and invoices,” state news agency Petra said. — AFP

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