The head of the Iranian tax organization said on Friday that government tax revenues will decline significantly during the Iranian year due to the coronavirus outbreak and business closures.
Omid-Ali Parsa told Tasnim News Agency that at best, only 1.4 trillion rials ($ 33.2 billion) of the planned 1.8 trillion rials ($ 42.7 billion) in tax revenue could be realized if the coronavirus crisis was over by the end of spring. “We know very little about the coronavirus, there are different possible scenarios. The same is true of the economic side of the epidemic. There are dark scenarios as well as optimistic scenarios and some in between,” Parsa added. .
Parsa also said the tax organization has taken some steps to help businesses and producers affected by the pandemic, including granting a grace period for taxes and waiving fines, but stressed that the Full tax exemptions due to the coronavirus had not yet been considered.
The Iranian government has relaxed its social distancing rules and allowed the reopening of some businesses considered low risk. Shopping arcades and malls have also been allowed to open, but at reduced hours.
Iran’s economy has been hit hard by US sanctions. Iranian oil exports have fallen from 2.5 million barrels a day before the sanctions to around 140,000 barrels and to make matters worse, the current decline in oil prices is also likely to affect the government revenues forecast for the Iranian fiscal year in progress. President Hassan Rouhani, however, said on Wednesday that Iran’s losses would be “much less” than those of other producers.
Along with cutting tax collection, Iran’s already slashed budget will face a serious deficit that can only be offset by huge withdrawals from its foreign exchange reserves, estimated at around $ 75 billion.
According to the latest official statement from the Ministry of Health on Thursday, since February 19, nearly 5,500 have died from COVID-19 and more than 87,000 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Iran’s health ministry bases its figures for deaths and infections from COVID-19 solely on positive test results, so the actual numbers may be much higher.