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Lower House continues deliberations over income tax bill

By Raed Omari - Dec 14,2014 - Last updated at Dec 14,2014

AMMAN — The Lower House continued its deliberations over the draft income tax law on Sunday, endorsing a provision requiring the accreditation of any tax-relevant financial statements and records to be audited and attested to by a certified public accountant.

During a morning session on Sunday, a majority of MPs endorsed another provision in the law, leaving it to the law to determine the value of income tax if financial documents and records of earnings provided do not meet accreditation and attestation requirements.

Tax statements can be submitted to the Income Tax Department through banks; a licensed professional such as an attorney, a certified public accountant or enrolled agent; or unlicensed tax preparation offices, as per articles endorsed by lawmakers. 

MPs also voted in favour of a proposal by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to form a six-member committee from the Income Tax Department appointed by the finance minister to evaluate tax statements according to their compliance with tax audit requirements.

If taxpayers, be they individuals or companies, fail to submit their tax statements during the period stipulated in the law, the Income Tax Department will determine the value of the income tax and the fines, and will inform the taxpayer in a written document about the result of its initial tax evaluation, according to another provision endorsed by a majority of MPs. 

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh had to adjourn the afternoon session following a heated argument with MP Amjad Majali (Unified Front list), who insisted on commenting on projected natural gas imports from Israel. 

Tarawneh refused to allow Majali to speak, saying the issue was not included on the House agenda. 

With chaos prevailing at the meeting as a result of Majali’s insistence on commenting on the gas deal and after he was joined by other protesting MPs, the speaker had to adjourn the afternoon session only a few minutes after it convened. 

Last week, the House dedicated two lengthy general sessions to discuss the planned gas imports during which 107 MPs presented their remarks.

The two sessions concluded with a recommendation to the government to shelve the deal with Israel.

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