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Nearly 200,000 houses to be taxed under vacancy tax law

Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami said that the ministry has referred a list of 194,000 vacant housing units to Iran National Tax Administration (INTA) to be taxed under the new vacancy tax law.

The minister said that the owners of these houses have been informed in this regard via receiving SMSs.

Last month, Deputy Transport Minister for Housing and Construction Affairs Mahmoud Mahmoudzadeh had said that in the first stage of the implementation of the program for collecting tax from the country’s vacant housing units, only units belonging to natural persons are targeted.

Back on July 12, the Iranian parliament (Majlis) had approved the double-urgency plan of the vacancy tax law.

The mentioned plan is mainly aimed at lowering the housing rental rate in the country.

Expressing his agreement over the approval of the mentioned plan, Hossein Hossein-Zadeh Bahraini, a member of the Majlis Economic Committee, said, “Our problem in the housing sector is not the demand higher than the supply, while the number of residential units is more than required.”

This plan is vital, as many families are struggling for renting the homes, while there are many empty units, the MP further reiterated.

The vacancy tax law, as part of Direct Tax Reform Law, was put on the agenda in the Iranian calendar year ending March 2016 and was enforceable from the year ending March 2017, but there was little data on the number of vacant units then, according to Mahmoud Alizadeh, a senior official with Iran National Tax Administration (INTA).

Alizadeh said, “As per Clause 54 of Direct Tax Law if a home remains vacant for more than a year, it will be subject to Vacancy Tax. Homes with a floor area of 150-odd square meters will be subject to tax at the rate of 20 percent of the property’s rent value,” Eghtesad Online published on June 20.

Elaborating on the vacancy tax, INTA Head Omid-Ali Parsa said in June, “Empty homes will not be taxed in the first year but they will be taxed at the rate of 50 percent of the property’s assessed rent in the second year and in the third year, they will be levied tax at the rate of 100 percent of the assessed rent”.

According to Mahmoudzadeh, a total of 6.6 million households or 30.7 percent of the country’s 18.1 million urban households live in rented homes. 

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