The budget law for the current Iranian] year (started March 21) has projected 750,000 billion rials ($25.8 billion) and 130,000 billion rials ($4.48 billion) in tax and customs revenues respectively, while the share of oil income is estimated at 530,000 billion rials ($18.27 billion), said the head of Iranian National Tax Administration.
“A bigger share of tax income in the budget will help Iran move away from crude oil export,” IRNA quoted Ali Asgari as saying on Tuesday.
For years successive governments have planned ways but failed to lessen overdependence on oil export earnings and prop up tax revenues as a primary source of income to run the affairs of 80 million Iranians. But easy access to high-powered money coming from the second largest oil and gas reserves in the world seem to have deterred decision and policy makers from pursuing this inevitable direction over the past decades.
Earlier on Monday, Asgari said as per new amendments to the tax law, tax evaders will henceforth face the full force of the law including criminal charges, fines and prison terms.
“Tax dodgers will also face social exclusion, which means they will be barred from serving on the board of any organization or as members of any association or the Parliament,” he was quoted as saying.