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Baath party newspaper proposes an increase in expatriate tax on Syrians

Malt Market in Fatih District of Istanbul in Turkey - November 2010 (Enab Baladi)

Malt Market in Fatih District of Istanbul in Turkey - November 2010 (Enab Baladi)

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The Syrian daily newspaper al-Baath, which speaks for the ruling Arab Socialist Baath Party, published a report about a proposal to raise the expatriation tax, aiming at converting the proposal into a draft legislation.

The proposal was published by the newspaper on Tuesday, 10 December, under the title “how can expatriation tax achieve sustainable human development?” and was prepared by “the expat citizen” Moatez Ammarin.

“Ammarin lives in Germany and has several high academic degrees,” according to the newspaper.

The publication of the proposal comes amid ongoing economic crisis in Syria in which the value of the Syrian currency is fluctuating, and the exchange rates of foreign currencies are increasing.

The proposal is consistent with the statements of the President of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, which he made during his interview with the Italian channel “Rai News24”, that was broadcast on the official Facebook page for the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic, about relying on the money of the Syrian expatriates in Syria’s reconstruction process.

Al-Assad said that he has no problem with affording the costs of the reconstruction, noting that Syrians “who work all around the world have a lot of money.”

The proposal of expatriation tax which reaches to 1,500 Syrian pounds a year (SYP- around 1.7 USD) is a very small amount of money for Syrian expatriates.

The proposal requests that an annual tax of 300 euros should be paid by expatriates (about 300 thousand SYP= 352.9 thousand USD), which is “a small amount compared to the annual income of the expatriate.”

The proposal also suggests obtaining 5% of the general income of expatriates by obtaining tax records for Syrians abroad, and linking the tax to a banking network and activating it. That would facilitate the entry of funds into the state budget to be a tributary to it.

However, Bashar al-Assad did not talk about expatriate taxes in financing Syria’s reconstruction, but rather indicated that the matter is a commercial business. Al-Assad believes that reconstruction funds exist, but the problem is with the imposed sanctions preventing businessmen and companies from working in Syria.

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