[size=36]Under the guidance of Al-Sudani... starting the first steps of tax reform in Iraq[/size]
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Mawazine News - Baghdad
The new Iraqi government, headed by Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, has begun the first practical steps in reforming the tax system in Iraq after many years of neglect and waste of public money as a result of corruption.
On Wednesday morning, the Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, sponsored the work of the conference on reforming the tax system in Iraq.
In his speech, Al-Sudani welcomed those in charge of preparing this important and qualitative conference dedicated to tax reform, praising the research papers presented by the relevant officials, businessmen and international organizations.
Al-Sudani stressed that economic reform, which was identified as a basic priority in the government program, was not a slogan, but rather a temporary goal that came through a realistic reading and an inevitable result of the problems and challenges facing Iraqi society, most of which have economic roots.
Al-Sudani explained that tax reform represents an important message to local and foreign investors, companies and international organizations, regarding the government’s seriousness in restoring the business environment, reforming systems and legislation, and rehabilitating institutional building. To be more attractive for investment, production and operation.
He continued, "Tax reform was present in all the meetings with businessmen and local and foreign investors," noting that "implementing the reform requires persistence, determination, diagnosing the defect, and making bold decisions."
He stated, "Despite the difficulties that appear on the medium and long-term level, we will reach a stage where the producer, consumer, and investor will feel a state of acceptance and satisfaction, after justice has been achieved."
He stressed, "We hope that the conference's recommendations will support legislation and infrastructure, and adopt a controlled and automated system that will eliminate extortion," noting that "the phenomenon of extortion represents one of the factors that discourage those charged with fulfilling their tax obligations."
He added, "The concept of tax needs work, awareness, and education, and tax revenues must be reflected in service projects that improve the living reality of citizens, and make taxpayers feel that they are contributors to development."
He warned that "a large part of the problems of banking and financial reforms is the evasion and fraud of some merchants and businessmen from the tax system," stressing that "businessmen go to the illegal market for foreign currency, and leave the official price and the electronic platform in order to avoid the tax."
He continued, "Some of the reasons for tax evasion are related to the origin of the tax system and its legislation, and some are related to tax culture and the spread of evasion," noting that "total imports, according to data from the Ministry of Planning, indicate imports worth 42 billion dollars, of machinery, goods, and products."
He said, “Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics indicate the presence of imports amounting to 16 billion dollars, which means that 26 billion dollars were not subject to customs duties and taxes,” pointing out that “tax evasion has disastrous effects on industry and trade, and hinders development projects.”
He stressed, "We have taken practical steps in banking and financial reform, land administration, electronic payment systems, and support for industrial cities, which is an integrated package that requires reform of the tax system."