TALOQAN (Pajhwok): A number of shopkeepers in northern Takhar province have expressed deep concern at high taxes imposed on them.
Cleanliness charges have been spiked from 1,500afs to 4,500afs and the shop permit charges from 500afs to 5,000afs, the shopkeepers complained.
Shafiqullah, a Taloqan-based retailer, told Pajhwok Afghan News his sale levels remained low, calling the tax hike back-breaking.
“We paid 1,500afs in cleanliness tax last year. But this year, we received a 4,500afs tax notice on the same count. No cleaning services were provided in the city last year.
“For the renewal of shop permits, we have received a 5,000afs bill instead of 500afs” Shafiqullah grumbled.
Viewing the spike as unjust, he said businesspeople were faced with a host of challenges. Instead of supporting them, the government was burdening them with increased levies, he alleged.
Jawad, another shopkeeper, also expressed his concern. “I’ve been running my shop for eight months. Some days back, revenue officials came in and handed me a notice worth 10,500afs — tax for one full year.”
He argued his sales were slumping and paying such high taxes was unjust because he continued to grapple with economic hardships.
The shopkeeper confirmed the fee work permit renewal for this year had shot up from 500afs to 5,000afs.
Revenue Director Maulvi Mohammad Tahir Abu Bakr agreed there were some problems in tax collecting. However, he explained his department was working to implement the new regulation about a 0.5 percent tax cut by the Finance Ministry.
Last year, he admitted, officials collected taxes from businesspeople without assessing their incomes, ignoring the relevant rules.
But the Revenue Department will now charge taxes after assessing businessmen’s sales, capital and the location of businesses, according to Abu Bakr.
Taloqan Municipality spokesperson Hedayatullah Safari acknowledged the increase in cleanliness and operational taxes. The revenue collected would be spent on public welfare projects, he promised.
Safari, however, repudiated claims about a three-fold increase in cleanliness and work permit renewal charges. Taxes would be realised in line with the relevant regulation.
Meanwhile, concerns about the lack of transparency in tax and revenue collection are on the rise across the entire province.
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