Taxes can be defined simply in a few sentences. For example, it can be said that tax is a part of the property or income or the price of some consumer goods or any natural or legal person, which is calculated and received by the government according to the law. And it is an important source of government revenue.
Taxes are an important tool to regulate the wealth in favor of poor people. And government’s tax revenues are used to improve public service and welfare.
But in the budget bill of the Iranian regime, we see another explanation. Here the regime is using taxes to compensate for the portion of the budget that has been allocated to its malign activities. This approach pushes more people below the poverty line every day.
The regime has increased taxes by 62 percent compared to the last year to generate an income of $21 billion.
The maximum amounts of this forecast are as follows:
- VAT: About $6 billion
- Corporate tax: About $5.4 billion
- Import tax: About $3.2 billion
- Tax on businesses and guilds: About $1.3 billion
- Wage tax on public and private employees: About $1.9 billion
In this regime, everything is upside down. The law applies to everyone except the regime’s companies and financial institutions. Every small company and business is obligated to offer its balance sheet and performance account and profit and loss, but the regime’s institutions and companies are not required to do so.
In September 2019, the state-run website Eghtesad News wrote: “60 percent of Iran’s national wealth is in the possession of the four institutions ‘Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, ‘Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters’, Astan Quds Razavi’ and ‘Mostazafan Foundation, none of which has any connection with the government and the Parliament.”
The Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, controlled by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, is a conglomerate of companies and holdings with billions of dollars of income. This institution has not provided any financial information about its assets and activities.
As far as the Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters is concerned, the regime’s National Defense University website quoted its former commander, Saeed Mohammad, as saying, on May 21, 2021, “The base was established to implement the country’s super-projects and accomplished many things. The production of more than 40 percent of the country’s gasoline, daily production of 150 million cubic meters of natural gas, construction of 4,000 km of the country’s railway network, construction of about 50 percent of the country’s dam reservoirs, and construction of 900 km of freeways are just part of Khatam’s 30-year record.”
He also explained why the Headquarters’ financial records and tax payments are not made public. “To prevent the exposer of the financial information of the base, trusted people should be hired to carry out these processes, and for this reason, a special tax branch has been appointed for the base with specific people,” he said.
The HQ’s records and assessments made by experts showed that the IRGC participates in, owns, or manages about 80 percent of all economic projects in Iran.
But that is not all. This HQ owns more than 60 piers in southern ports and smuggles billions of dollars into the country each year.
Astan Quds Razavi is now an economic empire with hundreds of different companies and institutions. Its subsidiaries add all their revenues to Khamenei’s assets. This institution is exempt from taxes by the order of the regime’s previous supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini on April 9, 1989.