#Tunisia : The version of the 2021 Finance Bill (PLF) is ready, with the backdrop of the pursuit of tax reform and the desire to reduce the circulation of cash. The announcement of sharp cuts in tobacco taxes is surprising.
For the 2021 fiscal year, the state budget, drawn up on the basis of a barrel of oil at 45 dollars, will amount to 52.60 billion dinars, up 4% compared to that of 2020.
Based on such price, the PLF expects a budget deficit of 7.3% in 2021, against 14% projected for the current year.
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Regarding the tax aspect, the PLF 2021 proposes the unification of the corporation tax (IS) at a rate of 18%. As a reminder, the CIT currently varies depending on the nature of the activity between 13.5%, 20% and 25%. This measure will be applied to the profits of companies for the 2021 financial year.
It is also planned to set up a specific tax regime for small individual companies having made industrial and commercial profits and whose turnover does not exceed 100,000 dinars. If adopted, this new regime will cancel the current flat-rate regime.
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Among other tax measures, we note the sharp drop in tobacco taxes. Thus, the tax on shisha tobacco has been reduced from 135% to 10%, while that on tobacco has been reduced from 135% to 50%. A new tax of 10% on liquid with nicotine for electronic cigarettes has however been introduced.
These reductions surprised more than one and seem incomprehensible in a context of declining tax revenues and the fight against the effects of tobacco on public health.
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Especially since at the same time, the government proposes a tax of 100 millimes (dinar = 1,000 millimes, Editor’s note) for the kilogram of sugar.
In addition to tax measures, this version of the 2021 PLF is marked by the Tunisian authorities’ desire to rationalize the use of cash. Thus, it now caps payment by cash at 3,000 Tunisian dinars. As a reminder, this was capped at 20,000 dinars for the 2014 financial year, before being reduced to 10,000 dinars in 2015 and 5,000 dinars in 2016.
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