On June 15, a report was released by the Iran regime’s media detailing the list of luxury properties in Tehran valued at over 500 billion tomans. These properties range from a 700-square-meter duplex in Shahrak Gharb to an 800-square-meter triplex in Niavaran.
The question is, how can some people afford to spend such exorbitant amounts, considering the minimum wage for a worker is only 9 million tomans and the average salary for a teacher falls between 11 and 14 million tomans?
While the hardworking labor of the country living on the outskirts of Tehran struggles to even rent a primitive settlement, super-rich people affiliated with the regime spend over 500 billion tomans on triplexes in super-rich regions such as Niavaran.
The regime has created super-billionaires and the immensely wealthy will continue to evade taxes, while ordinary people, including workers, retirees, teachers, and nurses, will be burdened with an additional 4% tax increase over a four-year period. It is crucial to take note of this added burden on the average citizen.
Another aspect that has created frustration among the ordinary people of the country is the lack of taxes paid by the owners and traders of these ultra-luxury properties. The regime’s 7th development plan has not considered any taxes on these individuals and their luxury properties.
The recently revealed draft of the 7th Development Plan includes a significant value-added tax (VAT) rate increase. This tax is applicable to a wide range of goods, ranging from everyday items like mineral water and dry milk to basic furniture.
Under this proposed plan, the VAT rate will rise from 9% to 13% in the 7th plan, with a gradual increase of 1% per year. According to Article 49 of the draft, the VAT rate will be raised from 9% to 10% in the second year of the program’s implementation, and each subsequent year will see an additional one-percentage-point increase, reaching 13% as the government’s share of the tax.
Starting from July 4th, individuals belonging to low-income groups who earn their livelihood by selling goods through low-paid jobs, such as street vendors, female heads of households, online merchants, and internet taxi drivers, will be required to pay taxes.
In a troubling scenario where the regime has neglected or chosen not to impose taxes on the super-rich, dealers, owners of luxury properties, and owners of extravagant vehicles, the burden once again falls upon ordinary individuals, including workers and retirees. This time, the regime’s aim is to generate income by taking from the pockets of these low-income groups.
Indeed, the current tax system places an unfair burden on low-income groups, including workers and retirees. They not only face income tax with an unfairly low threshold, often set at half of the poverty line, but they are also subject to a high 9% value-added tax (VAT) on nearly all goods and services.
Given the challenging circumstances faced by workers and retirees, it is perplexing why there is a desire to further increase this tax burden. The regime overlooks deliberately the fact that the majority of people are wage earners struggling to make ends meet and are already below the poverty line.
In addition to the 4% increase in value-added tax, there is another aspect to consider: the introduction of transaction fees, set to be implemented from July 4th. This new income generation plan entails charging fees on purchase transactions.
As per the provisions outlined in this instruction, the minimum fee for transactions of 600,000 tomans will be raised by 120 tomans, with incremental increases for higher-value transactions. This means that individuals will be subject to additional charges when making purchases, further impacting their expenses.
Under this plan, it appears that low-income groups will face challenges. They will either be required to pay taxes on the income they earn from selling basic goods or pay additional fees. This could significantly impact their financial situation and add further strain to their already limited resources.
Indeed, there is another significant aspect to consider: the burden of these fees will ultimately be shifted onto the buyers themselves, leading to an increase in the prices of goods and services. It is crucial to recognize that these buyers are part of the same society and often belong to the wage-earning population.
More than 70% of the country’s population consists of wage earners, with at least 80% of this group living below the poverty line. The remaining 20% are precariously situated just above the poverty line, often struggling to make ends meet. The government’s inflationary measures and tax initiatives risk pushing these individuals over the edge, exacerbating their financial hardships.
Despite several years passing, the implementation of taxes on empty houses has not been realized. The failure to hold the wealthy and dealers accountable for their tax obligations raises valid concerns. This situation has contributed to creating an environment where Iran is perceived as a paradise for the rich, exacerbating wealth inequality and potentially widening the socioeconomic divide.