Takhar shopkeepers irked by 5% tax hike

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Restaurants and shops owners in northern Takhar province have expressed concerns over five percent increase in tax saying current business condition did not suit tax hike. Haseebullah, the owner of one of the restaurants told Pajhwok Afghan News, in the past their business was doing well, the tax percentage was five and they paid up to 20,000 afs in four months but now there is five percent increase in the tax which unfair. “Now we have to pay 250,000 afs when the condition of our business not well and the market is down,” he said. Syed Naseer, the owner of another restaurant in Takhar, termed the increase in the tax backbreaker and said: “In current condition they were unable to pay for their workers so increase in the tax amount was backbreaker” He said a large part of the collected net income is spent on expenses, and the government wants to pay taxes without considering these expenses, while the expectation of the shopkeepers is that the tax will be collected from the net income taking into account the expenses. He asked the government to put an end to their worries. Syed Ahmad, one of the shopkeepers, said: “Tax has increased recently while the market condition is down and there is no demand.” Abdul Manan, head of the Shokeepers Union, said they shared their concerns with the Finance Ministry and hoped that the five percent increase will be dropped to two percent. He, however, said in current condition the payment of two percent tax would be difficult for shopkeepers. Mawlavi Abdul Bar Asari, head of the Takhar Revenue Department, said there was no exact plan for revenue collection during the past government, adding that now the tax increase is based on a proper plan, budget and the level of income. He said according to the law, five percent tax is charged on restaurants, companies, private hospitals the net income of which is over 750,000 in a quarter. He said business with less than 750,000 net income are charged two percent tax. He assured efforts were under way to address the problems and worries faced by restaurants owners.