Guide on Iranian Taxation System for Foreign Investors

Similar Taxation for Iranian and Foreign Investors

Foreign investors in Iran enjoy the same supports and privileges that are offered to the Iranian investors. In this connection, the Direct Taxation Law passed in 1987 and the following amendments have considered no discrimination in taxation of domestic and foreign investors in Iran. This means both Iranian and foreign investors pay the same amount of taxes. Tax exemptions and discounts are also equally granted to domestic and foreign investors.

The Direct Taxation Law, passed in 1987, is regarded as the core of the taxation system in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The law was extensively reviewed and reformed in 2001 to be in tandem with the ongoing economic conditions in the country. Production and investment promotion in line with the economic development of the country was one major factor behind the need for amendment of the law (supporting the newly established manufacturing and mineral units according to Article 132 and investment promotion according to article 138).

Taxable Real and Legal Entities According to Direct Taxation Law in Iran

  1. All owners, whether real or legal, for their properties inside Iran according to the taxation rules under Chapter 2 of the Iran Direct Taxation Law
  2. Any real person residing in Iran for the incomes earned inside and outside the country
  3. Any Iranian real person residing abroad for all the income he makes in Iran
  4. Any Iranian legal entity for the incomes earned inside or outside the country
  5. Any non-Iranian real or legal entities for the income earned in Iran and also for the income gained through delegation of authority, dealership, technical and educational assistance or movie contracts (for any sort of income earned as rental, right of display and the like) in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Types of Taxes in Iran's Direct Taxation Law

  1. a) Property Tax:1

Inheritance tax

Stamp duty (It is a type of tax levied on some documents such as checks, bills of exchange, promissory notes, negotiable instruments, stocks and shares … according to Articles 44 through 51 of Direct Taxation Law.)

  1. b) Income tax:

Property income tax

Agricultural income tax

Salary income tax

Self-employment tax (the type of income a person earns in Iran through self-employment)

Corporate income tax (special for legal entities)

Since manufacturing units and economic enterprises are usually active as legal entities, we will hereunder focus on rules and regulations for taxation of legal entities income and their exemptions.


Legal Entity Income Tax in Iranian Direct Tax Laws

The aggregate income of Iranian companies or Foreigner Companies, and also the income from the profit-making activities of other juridical persons, derived from different sources in Iran or abroad, less the losses resulting from non-exempt sources and minus the prescribed exemptions, shall be taxed at the flat rate of 25%, except the cases for which separate rates are provided under the present Direct Taxation Law. Persons, whether legal or real, will not be taxable for the stocks or the dividends of their shares in other capital corporations.

The Direct Taxation Law and other pertinent legislations have considered certain exemptions for the legal entities as the following:

Factory owners and legal entities are obligated to, even within the exemption period, submit declaration and profit and loss balance sheets, provided from their official statutory books, maximum four months after their tax year (March through February in Iran)2 along with the list of partners and shareholders

And their shares and addresses to the tax department within the area of the activity of the legal entity (Article 110). If these legal entities do not submit the documents within the stipulated time span, the tax exemption will be null and void.

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