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Taxation

OVERVIEW

 Income tax is levied on any earning generated in Lebanon with respect to the territoriality basis, such us:

  • Personal earnings: salaries, overtimes, bonus
  • Earnings generated from partnership agreement
  • Profits from joint stock company and limited liability company
  • Income generated from stocks, bonds, shares, paper issued
  • Earnings of non-residents: tax charged on non-residents working in Lebanon
  • Dividend distribution

Other types of taxes:

  • Built property tax
  • Municipal taxes
  • Value Added Tax
  • Stamp duty

DIFFERENT BASES TO APPLY TAXES

There are three methods to apply taxes on profit

  • Tax on Estimated Income
  1. Presumptive Tax
  2. Real Profit Tax

TAX BASED ON ESTIMATED INCOME

 It's applied to small trading establishments (roving vendors, taxi drivers and blue collar jobs) that find it difficult to keep accounts of their financial transactions. No documents are submitted to the ministry. The assessment is made purely on a field audit by the tax inspectors. A special committee at the Ministry of Finance sets this type of tax based on a field worker's report, and reviews its estimations every three years. The estimate is based on both financial and non-financial information that the taxpayer must make it available, which may take into consideration the taxpayer's lifestyle and location of business. Just as there are no fixed rates for estimated tax, so there are no set days for paying it. It is due after the assessment is made.

PRESUMPTIVE TAX/ LUMPSUM TAX

Sole proprietorships and professions earnings assessments are based on calculating the turnover by a certain coefficient. This coefficient; set by an official committee; is the average profit rate expected for various professions.

This tax base was created primarily for sole proprietorship and liberal professions, which could not be expected to cope with complex accounting procedures.

The assessment profit is based on a taxpayer's declared statement of income to the Ministry of Finance. A percentage of the income is assessed for tax although the figure varies according to the type of profession. The figure is then subject to tax at a rate depending on the size bracket of the figure.

A special committee at the Ministry of Finance determined the coefficient to be applied to the company's revenue to determine the net income on which the appropriate tax is levied.

The income generated and collected during the year is multiplied by a certain coefficient, irrespective of expenses or real net profit. This figure is then taxed at a rate also determined by the ministry. Personal allowances are deducted from taxable income.  back to top

Presumptive tax is also applied to:

  • Insurance companies.
  • Air, sea and land transport firms.
  • Petrol refineries.

These businesses cannot ask that their taxes be determined using real profit assessments.The graduated tax is applied in five stages with the highest rate set at 21 percent, as follows:

TAX RATE ON PROFITS

Net Income

Rate

Up to LL 9 million

4 %

LL 9 million – LL 24 million

7 %

LL 24 million – LL 54 million

11 %

LL 54 million – LL 104 million

16 %

More than LL 104 million

21 %


REAL PROFIT TAX

Real Profit tax is applied when calculating the real profit, which is a result of deducting the cost of sales and expenses from revenues.

Permissible deductible expenses:

  • Cost of goods sold and cost of services provided during the year.
  • Rent expenses
  • Interest on loans
  • Salaries, wages, and allowances.
  • Government levies.
  • Depreciation costs.
  • End-of-service benefits, retirement salaries, or emergency compensation.
  • Donations according to the allowed limit.
  • Non-collectible account receivables, but only after the company has proven it has made effort to collect the amount due.
  • Advertising and promotion expenses.
  • Municipal property taxes.
  • Travel and transportation expenses.
  • Costs related to setting up the enterprise: stamp duties, travel, etc.
  • Insurance premiums.
  • Office expenses
  • Electricity and postage charges
  • Maintenance expense  back to top

COMPANIES & CORPORATIONS TAX RATES JOINT STOCK COMPANIES & CORPORATIONS

  • 15 percent tax on business profit.
  • 10 percent on dividends.  back to top

HOLDING COMPANIES

 Holding companies are exempt from paying:

  • Income tax on profits.
  • Income tax on profit distribution.

Holding companies must pay:

  • 10 percent on the interest on loans issued to companies operating in Lebanon, if the loan maturity is less than three years.
  • 10 percent tax on capital gains received from the sale of holding company shares or its participation in Lebanese companies it has owned for less than two years.
  • 10 percent on amounts collected from renting patents and on the reserved rights it possesses on a Lebanese company.
  • 5 percent on management fees collected from Lebanese companies. The ceiling of the management fee is 2 percent calculated based on the revenue of the subsidiary company.
  • Graduated tax on capital and reserves
  1. Six percent if capital and reserves are less than LL50 million.
  2. Four percent if capital and reserves are between LL50 million and LL80 million.
  3. Two percent if the capital and reserves is grater than LL80 million.
  4. The annual tax should not exceed LL5 million.  back to top

OFFSHORE COMPANIES

Offshore companies are exempt from:

  • Tax on profits.
  • Tax on profit distribution.
  • Stamp duties on overseas business contracts signed in Lebanon.
  • 30 percent of foreign employees' basic salary.

The company is subject to:

  • A fixed annual tax if 1 million LBP.
  • 10 percent tax on profit received from the sale of fixed assets in Lebanon.
  • Two to 20 percent tax on the salaries of company employees working in Lebanon. back to top

PERSONAL INCOME TAX:

SALARIES

The law differentiates between daily employees, temporary employees and full time employees.

TAX ON SALARY'S (NET INCOME)

 Temporary employees are taxed to a flat rate of three percent. They are not registered with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and are not entitled to neither national health coverage nor to the end-of-service indemnity.

Full time employees' and daily employees' salaries are taxed on a sliding scale from two percent to 20 percent, as follows: back to top

 

TAX RATE ON NET ANNUAL INCOME

Net Income

Rate

Up to LL 6 million

2%

LL 6 million – LL 15 million

4%

LL 15 million – LL 30 million

7%

LL 30 million – LL 60 million

11%

LL 60 million – LL 120 million

15%

Greater than LL 120 million

20%

GROSS SALARY DEDUCTIBLES: EMPLOYEE DEDUCTIBLES FROM GROSS INCOME

 Gross salary is subject to family allowance as well as transportation and education deductions tax-free allowances:

  1. LL 7.5 million is allowed tax-free from the salaries of single employees.
  2. Married male / female employees can claim an additional family allowance which is divided into two parts – an allowance for the spouse / husband and another for the children.
Married male / female employees can claim an additional LL 2.5 million annual allowance, if his wife / husband is not working.

The entitlement can be claimed for estranged or divorced spouses to whom the employee pays alimony.

It can be claimed for only one wife.

A LL 500,000 allowance can be claimed per child per year to a maximum of five children.

If the wife and the husband both works then they will share 250,000 LL equally.
  • The allowance is only applicable to children, who do not work, plus:
  1. Male children up to the age of 18 or those still studying (up to the age of 25).
  2. The age limit does not apply to handicapped children who cannot work. A certificate from the medical committee at the ministry of Public Health is needed to certify that the child is incapable of working.
  3.  Female children for as long as they remain single or if they are divorced or widowed. A female worker can claim the family / children allowance if she is the sole breadwinner or if her husband has abandoned the family.  back to top

ADDITIONAL DEDUCTION

  • Daily wage earners can claim a tax-free allowance of LL 25, 000 per day.
  • Work-related expenses such as travel, entertainment, etc. are deductible.
  • Education allowances are deductible.
  • Transportation allowances per working day, are deductible.  back to top

INCOME TAX ON SALARIES EXEMPTIONS

  • Religious clerics.
  • Overseas diplomatic and consular staff if their countries reciprocate the arrangement – the income of Lebanese staff is not exempt.
  • Armed forces of allied armies
  • Public servant's retirement salaries.
  • Work-related accident benefits.
  • Agricultural labor wages.
  • Domestic helpers working in private homes.
  • Nurses and attendants in hospitals, orphanage, and shelters.
  • End-of-service benefits according to labor law.
  • Social Security payments.
  • UN and related agency staff salaries.  back to top

MOVABLE CAPITAL ASSETS TAX

A flat 10 percent tax is imposed on the income or profits received from stocks, bonds and private or public paper issue. The tax must be paid even if the beneficiary is anonymous. There are no deductibles. The tax is deducted before payment is issued to the beneficiary.

This tax must be paid if the income is earned in Lebanon.

Exempted from the movable capital assets tax can be summarized as follows:

  • Amounts paid in reimbursement of creditors or shareholders, provided they are not taken from the profit and loss account or from reserve fund.
  • Interest on savings accounts.
  • Interests and revenues of current accounts opened at the banks in the name of the government, municipalities, and public institutions and also foreign diplomatic and Consular corps in Lebanon subject to reciprocal treatment.
  • Income from bonds issued by the Treasury of the Lebanese Government.   back to top

EARNINGS NOT SUBJECT TO TAX

Earnings that are not subject to tax are:

  • Persons, companies, or establishments realizing profits, income, or products resulting from their activities out of Lebanon and without an office or permanent desk to exercise their profession in Lebanon, are not subject to tax on profits.
  • Profits made by sales agents for foreign companies. Lebanese companies must include the earning of overseas staff in their annual profit statement. But as the branches of the parent company are subject to the tax laws of the areas they operate, their earnings must be distinguished from the earnings of the parent company. back to top

FILING DEADLINE

Filing deadline:

  • Tax declarations are due on January 31 for sole proprietorship using lump sum method.
  • NPO and NGO have till January 31 to file their financial report.
  • Tax declarations are due on March 31 for partnerships and sole proprietorship using real profit method.
  • Joint stock companies, limited liability companies, holding companies and offshore companies have until May 31 to file their tax forms.
  • Audit reports are due on June 30 for partnership companies.
  • Audit reports are due on August 31 for Joint stock companies, limited liability companies, holding companies and offshore companies.  back to top

INSTITUTIONS EXEMPTED FROM PAYING INCOME TAX

 Permanent Exemptions:

  • Educational institutions: Encompasses all activities related to teaching, such as selling books and boarding fees, as long as the school is the main beneficiary. The establishment, however, is taxed on income generated from activities that are not related to educating children.
  • Mental hospitals and tuberculosis sanatoriums.
  • Non-commercial agriculture and retail cooperatives and unions.
  • Sea and air navigation companies whose home countries have exempted Lebanese companies operating in the area from tax. This privilege is often based on bilateral agreements established between the countries and Lebanon.
  • Public entities of a commercial or industrial nature that are not competing with private enterprises. Social and administrative entities are automatically exempt because they do not generate profit. Temporary exemptions: These exemptions were implemented to encourage industrial productivity or promote the banking sector.

Newly established factories:

  1. Factories built in areas specified by the Council of Ministers to develop the district.
  2. Factories manufacturing goods not produced in Lebanon before 1980. This includes converting raw material into semi-finished products and assembling products not previously found locally.
  3. Companies with fixed assets of LL500 million or more.
  4. The company's profit, during a specified exemption period, should not exceed the cost of its fixed assets at the time it opened.
  5. If these criteria are met, the company files an application with the Ministry of Finance. The exemption is granted if approval is received from both the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry.  back to top

BUILT-UP PROPERTY TAX

 Rental income is subject to a flat tax rate of four percent, applicable on total rental revenue, and a sliding rate of between two percent and 13 percent, which is applicable on rental income greater than LL20 million.

The sliding tax rate applies as follows:

  • 6 % on income between LL20 million andLL40 million.
  • 8 % on income between LL40 million and LL60 million.
  • 11 % on income between LL60 million and 100 million.
  • 14 % on income greater than 100 million.  
One quarter of the tax revenues received is directed to the Municipal Fund of the municipality within whose boundaries the property falls.   back to top

The following are exempt from property tax:
  • Public buildings.
  • Charities.
  • Places of worship.
  • Cemeteries.
  • Embassies or consular offices.
  • Association or syndicate headquarters.
The following may be exempt from property tax if the government agrees:
  • Orphanages.
  • Non-profit hospitals, clinics or schools or buildings donated for these purposes.
  • Buildings that house sports facilities, welfare organizations, social clubs, cultural centers, public health organizations, political parries, or labor unions.
Property owners must register all rental agreements with the local municipality. Tax on the rent received is due on the first day of the contract period. It stops when the landlord tells the local authority that the property is vacant. back to top

MUNICIPAL TAX

The rates for municipal taxes are set at two levels. On business property the levy is fixed at 8.5 percent, while the rate for residences, rented as well as owner-occupied, is set at 6.5 percent. back to top

VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT) ARE SUBJECT TO TAX

  1.  The supply of goods and services carried out by a taxable person, for consideration, within the Lebanese territory.
  2.  Import transactions undertaken by any person, whether that person is taxable or not. back to top

TAXABLE PERSON

A taxable person is every natural or juridical person who, in the course of an independent economic activity, performs taxable supplies of goods and services or exempted supplies with the right of deduction (zero-rated) in accordance with the provisions of this law, providing that he achieves a total turnover covering four successive quarters that exceeds 150 million LBP.

The persons, whose turnover less than 150 million LBP may voluntarily apply for being taxable.  back to top

COMPUTATION OF THE TURNOVER

The turnover mentioned is composed of the following amounts:

  • The value of the taxable transactions, excluding VAT; The calculation of this turnover does not take into consideration:
  • The value of transfer of capital assets.  back to top

Persons and Transactions outside the Scope of the Tax

The transactions dealing with non-built lands are outside the scope of the tax. as well the State, municipalities and other public bodies regarding the transactions they perform when acting as a public authority, are considered to be outside the scope of tax even if these transactions are paid for by fees or subscriptions, except for the following taxable transactions:

  • Renting out private properties
  • Communication
  • Water and electricity
  • Audiovisual media
  • Consumer markets, slaughterhouses, and warehouses
  • Tobacco
  • Car parking - Seaports and airports
  • Co-ops   back to top

Transfer of a Going Concern

No tax is charged on the transfer of the principal assets of a business, whether for consideration or not, in the event that such transfer enables the recipient to operate the business as such, provided that the transferor and the recipient are taxable persons.  back to top

Supply of Services

The supply of services means any transaction that does not constitute supply of goods. Such transactions may include, for example:

  1. The transfer of intangible property whether represented or not by a bond;
  2. The obligation to refrain from an act or to allow an act.  back to top

Self-supply of Services by a Taxable Person

The following shall be considered as supply of services for consideration:

  1. The use by a taxable person of goods forming part of his business assets for his private needs or those of his staff, and more generally for purposes other than those of his business, where the tax on such goods has been initially partly or wholly deducted.
  2. The supply of a service by a taxable person free of charge for his private needs or those of his staff, and more generally for purposes other than those of his business.
  3. The supply of a service by a taxable person for the purposes of his business, where the tax on such service, had it been supplied by another taxable person, would not be wholly deductible. back to top

The Intermediate

The taxable person that interferes in a supply of goods or services in his own name but on behalf of his mandatory is deemed to have performed the transaction himself.

Place of Supply of Goods

The supply of goods shall be deemed to take place in Lebanon if the good is located on the Lebanese territory at the date of supply.  back to top

Place of Supply of Services

 The supply of services shall be deemed to take place in Lebanon if the service is used within the Lebanese territory, notwithstanding the following provisions:

  1. The place of supply of a service related to an immovable property is the location where this property exist.
  2.  Location of supply of a service related to a tangible movable property where this service is carried out. back to top

Import Transactions

Importation takes place when the merchandises are placed in the local consumption in accordance with the provisions of the customs legislation.  back to top

Exempted Activities

Tax shall not be charged in respect of the transactions carried out within the Lebanese territory and related to any of the following activities:

  1. Services offered by medical doctors or persons performing medical activities, and hospital fees;
  2. Education;
  3. Insurance and reinsurance in addition to, medical coverage provided L by mutual assistance fund, in addition to employers and related services;
  4. Banking and financial services;
  5. Non-profit organizations regarding the activities performed for nonprofit purposes, except when exempting such repeated activities is likely to create distortion of competition with taxable businesses;
  6. Collective transport of persons, including transport by taxicabs;
  7. Supply of gold to the Central Bank;
  8. Betting, lotteries and other forms of gambling;
  9. Sale of built properties;
  10. Residential letting of built properties;
  11. Farmer's activities concerning the supply of their agricultural production. back to top

Exempted Goods

Tax shall not be charged in respect of the following goods:

  1. Livestock, poultries, live fish and agricultural alimentary products sold in their raw state;
  2. Bread, flour, meat and fish, milk and yogurt and their derivatives, rice, borghol, sugar, cooking salt, vegetable oil, macaroni and all different kinds of pasta and baby's food;
  3. Books and similar publications, magazines, newspapers, paper and paperboard of a kind used for writing and printing, newsprints in rolls or sheets, printing ink;
  4. Postal, fiscal stamps and paper money;
  5. Gas for household consumption (butane);
  6. Seeds, fertilizers, feeds and agricultural pesticides;
  7. Agricultural machinery;
  8. Medicines, drugs and pharmaceutical products including those used for health and pharmaceutical purposes (like for example intrauterine devices, condoms, sanitary pads and tampons, baby's diapers and similar products
  9.  Medical tools, installations and equipment;
  10. Precious and semi-precious stones, precious and semi-precious stones destined for mounting or renewed, pearls, diamonds, gold, silver and other precious metals.
  11. Negotiable money in paper or coins.
  12. Yachts and other excursion or sports sailboats with a length exceeding 15 meters that are only owned to non-Lebanese.
  13. Means of air transportation used for both persons and goods. back to top

Exemptions at Import

Tax shall not be charged in respect of:

  1. The importation of goods where the supply of such goods within the Lebanese territory is exempted from the tax according to article 16 and 17 of this law,
  2. The transactions provided for in the customs legislation and related to the exemptions specific to the Presidency of the Republic, Parliament, Prime Ministry, United Nations Organization, the political and consulate exemptions, and the donations granted to the public administrations and institutions,
  3. The personal luggage, household equipment, and the specimens with no commercial value according to the criteria adopted by the customs law.
  4. The importation of military vehicles, weapons and ammunitions. back to top

Exemption of Exports and Like Transactions

 Tax shall not be charged in respect of:

  1. The supply of goods and services used, dispatched or transported to a destination outside the Lebanese territory.
  2. The supply of goods and services in the free zones according to the conditions and restrictions determined by the customs legislation.
  3. The exportation of gold to the Central Banks.
  4. The supply of goods and services to the public administrations departments and municipalities, regarding the part financed from foreign resources as loans or donations.  

Exemption of International Transport

Tax shall not be charged in respect of:

  1. The supply, alteration, repairing, maintenance, leasing, or letting of:
  1. Seagoing vessels used for navigation in the high seas and which fulfill remunerated transport activity, rescue and assistance seagoing vessels, or those used for sea hunting.
  2. Means of transportation by air used for air navigation and which mainly carry out an international remunerated transport activity.
  1. The supply of services for consideration related to seagoing vessels and means of transportation by air and their cargo.
  2. The international transport of persons and merchandises. back to top

Exemption of Some of the Intermediates Operations

Tax shall not be charged in respect of:

Services supplied by intermediaries, acting in the name and on behalf of another person when these services are related to exempted transactions according to articles 19 and 20 of this law or transactions taking place outside the Lebanese territory, except for services supplied by travel agencies. back to top

Due Date of Tax

The tax is due at the date of supply of goods and services.

If, before the date of supply of goods and services, the price has been partly or wholly paid, then the tax is due at the date of payment based on the value of the amount paid. If, before the date of supply of goods and services and before paying the price, the taxable person issues an invoice, then the tax is due at the date of issuing the invoice.

As for the imported merchandises, the tax is due when the customs duties become due according to the legislations in force. back to top

Taxable Base within the Country

  1. The taxable base is deemed to be the consideration that the supplier of goods or services has or will collect for supplying these goods and services
  2.  Concerning the transactions mentioned in article 8 of this law, related to the self supply of goods, the purchase price of these goods and like goods is deemed to be the taxable base. When the determination of this price is impossible, the cost price at the date of carrying out such transactions, is deemed to be the taxable base.
  3. Concerning the transactions mentioned in article 11 of this law, related to the self supply of services, the total costs undertaken by a taxable person in order to supply these services, is deemed to be the taxable base.
  4.  In case it is impossible to determine the consideration, the tax is charged on the open market value of the goods and services supplied. The open market value of the supply of goods and services is the price for a like transaction taking place on the Lebanese territory between a vendor and a purchaser at arm’s length, at the time of such a supply under conditions of fair competition.
  5. Taxes and duties except the value-added tax, and all related expenses such as intermediary, packaging, transport, or insurance expenses, etc… are included in the taxable base. back to top

Taxable Base at Import

 At import, the taxable amount is the custom's value determined according to the valuation rules at Customs, in addition to customs duties and all taxes initially due, excluding the value-added tax. back to top

Tax Rate

 The tax rate is 10%.

Tax Period

The tax is calculated at the end of each quarter of the calendar year. back to top

The Right to Deduct

The right to deduct is the right given to a taxable person to deduct from the tax due on a certain transaction the value of the tax paid in respect of the cost of this transaction or any of the components forming part of the cost.

The taxable person is entitled to deduct from the tax he is liable to pay for a specific tax period, the whole deductible tax for that same period.

The right of deduction arises when the deductible tax is due.  back to top

The Deductible Tax

The deductible tax is the one charged in respect of goods and services purchased by a taxable person from another taxable person, and goods and services imported by a taxable person, including capital assets, in order to perform through his economic activity, one of the following transactions:

  1. The supply of taxable goods and services.
  2. The transactions related to exportation and like transactions and international transport that are exempt from the tax.
The tax charged on the fixed assets acquired by a taxable person before being taxable shall also be eligible for deduction when these assets are used for taxable transactions.

The fixed assets shall mean tangible property, such as machines and tools, dedicated for a permanent use in the business as investment means. back to top

Rules Governing the Right to Deduct

In order to exercise the right to deduct, the taxable person must have:

  • An invoice for the goods or services acquired from another taxable person including all the information provided for in article 38 of this law or a substitute document,
  • Import documents issued by the competent authorities, proving the import and the payment of the tax. back to top

The Excess of Deductible Tax

If, at the end of a tax period, the amount of the deductible tax exceeds the amount of the tax due, then the excess shall be carried forward to the following period.

The taxable person has the right to claim, semi annually or annually, a refund for the excess of the input deductible tax covering this period / year.

The exporters have the right to claim, at the end of any tax period, a refund of the excess deductible tax covering this period, according to criteria to be determined in by a decree issued upon the proposal of the Minister of Finance.

As for the taxable person who ceased to be taxable, he has the right to claim a refund of the excess of the input deductible tax upon the approval of his deregistration claim. 

 In case a refund claim is approved partly or wholly, the administration shall pay the amount due to the taxable person, and it shall be liable to a 9 % late payment interest on the unpaid amount starting the end of the 4th month from the date the claim was submitted. back to top

The Right to Deduct Partially

 Where a taxable person engages, in the furtherance of his activity, in both transactions in respect of which tax is deductible, and others in respect of which tax is not deductible, that person is entitled to deduct such part of the tax attributable to the former transactions. back to top

Adjustments of Deductions

The deductible tax as calculated shall be adjusted if it does not correctly reflect the deductible tax that the taxable person was entitled to, due to:

  1. Material mistakes;
  2. Changes that occur at a later date of the tax period in the factors used to determine the deductible tax. The person who opts to be a taxable person and deregisters within 2 years from his registration date, shall remit to the treasury in case of existence, between the refunded tax and the tax collected the difference, for the period during which he was voluntarily registered. back to top

Persons Liable to Pay the Tax and their Obligations

  1. Within the Lebanese territory:

The taxable person and his legal successors are liable to pay the tax provided that the supply of goods and services performed, are also taxable.

  • The representative legally appointed by the non
  • resident is liable to pay the tax, or in case the non-resident did not appoint a representative, the person dealing with him.
  • The resident person who uses in Lebanon a service he acquired from outside the country is liable to pay the tax.
  1. at import The importer or the person treated as such is liable to pay the tax according to the provisions of the valid customs legislation. back to top

Registration and Periodical Returns

Every taxable person shall submit:

  1. A registration request to the relevant tax authorities within 2 months starting the last day of the quarter where the conditions for being taxable are available.
  2. A deregistration request:
  1. Within 2 months from the end of the calendar year that follows the year where the conditions for being taxable ceased to be available.
  2. Within 2 months from the date of cessation of activity.
  1. A notification to the relevant tax authorities of any changes that occurred in the nature of his activity, his address, his name, his legal status, or any other information showed on his registration request, within 2 months starting the date the change occurred.
  2. Periodical tax return: within 20 days from the end of the tax period including, if necessary, the amount of the deductible tax. back to top

Accounting Obligations

The method of keeping and organizing the necessary accounting documents to be adopted by the taxable person and enabling the application and control of the tax is regulated by a decision of the Minister of Finance.  back to top

The taxable person, who, for the purpose of Income Tax, is taxed according to the lump-sum method or the estimated method, shall keep the accounting books and issue the accounting documents required by the real profit method. Nevertheless, he shall keep on filing the Income Tax returns stipulated by the lump-sum method and estimated method.

Retention of Records, Invoices, and other Accounting Documents

The taxable person-shall retain the records, invoices and other accounting documents for a 5 years time limit starting the end of the calendar year through which the tax was due.

Issuance of the Tax Invoice

Every taxable person shall issue an invoice, or other document serving as an invoice in respect of all goods and services supplied by him to another person.

The invoice shall at least state clearly the following:

  1. The name, address, and registration number of the supplier of goods or services at the Ministry of Finance.
  2. The name and address of the person for the interest of whom the invoice has been issued.
  3. The description of the supply of goods and services.
  4. The serial number and date of the invoice.
  5. The due amount for the supply of goods and services.
  6. The tax chargeable with the applied tax rate. back to top

Payment of Tax

 The tax shall be paid, in a single payment, within the deadline of the periodical tax return i.e. within 20 days from the end of each tax period, covering the taxable transactions fulfilled through the mentioned period, after deducting the amount of the deductible tax.

In case the tax authority charged additional or supplementary amounts, the tax shall be paid according to reassessments notes within one month from the date of notification of these assessments notes to the taxable persons.

The tax shall be paid to any of the accepted private banks or its operative branches in Lebanon, according to rules appointed by the Minister of Finance. back to top

Non-Residents

  1. When the taxable person does not have a real or elected establishment in Lebanon, he shall appoint a fiscal representative who resides in Lebanon before carrying out, any transaction of supply of goods or provision of services regardless of the turnover he shall achieve. Hence this appointment is subject to the tax authority approval on the fulfillment of the conditions determined by the Minister of Finance.
Any person residing in Lebanon must make sure, that after dealing with a non-resident, a certain tax is due, that he has appointed a fiscal representative, otherwise he shall be held liable to pay the tax and the penalties due to the tax authorities. However he can pursue the non-resident to recover his rights.

This fiscal representative shall be held jointly and severally liable for the payment of taxes and penalties resultant from taxable transactions, and he shall be responsible, instead of his mandatory, of all the required obligations provided for in this law and its regulations.
  1. Any person residing in Lebanon and using within the Lebanese territories a service acquired from abroad, shall declare the amount of the tax due on this service and pay it to the tax authorities regardless of the value of this service. back to top

Obligations at Import

The same rules and forms provided for in the customs legislation shall be applied to the tax declaration at import.

The tax is paid once the merchandises are placed in domestic consumption according to the rules provided for in customs legislation.

The collection of the tax will be banned temporarily in all customs situations where the duties are temporarily suspended according to the rules provided for in the customs legislation.

Travel Agencies Transactions

Travel agencies represent every natural or juridical person, who directly or as an intermediary, organizes and supplies travels or residences in order to seek profits, sells travel tickets, hotel accommodation, and meals, organizes trips and visits to vestigial places, and generally, every person who sells services related to transactions mentioned above or branching from it to passengers. back to top

Rules of Control

  1. Right of inspection:

Every person, whether taxable or not, shall enable the competent tax officers, to inspect at the premises of the taxable person or those in relation with him, records, invoices and other documents allowing them to ensure the correct collection of the tax due by him or by other persons dealing with him.

Without prejudice to bank secrecy law dated September 3rd, 1956, it is forbidden for any person, including the public administrations, to use the professional confidentiality in order to prevent the tax officers from reviewing the records, invoices and other documents which allow them to ensure the correct collection of the tax due by the taxable persons. 

In case the records and documents are electronically kept or preserved, the tax officers have the right to inspect the registered information on the electronic documents and obtain them as numerical or paper documents that can be read and understood.

  1. Information granting:

Without prejudice to bank secrecy law dated September 3rd, 1956, every person, natural or juridical, shall enable the competent tax officers, upon their written request, to inspect his records and documents with all the information they need to ensure the correct collection of the tax due by him or by the others.

  1.   Control over import and export transactions:

The provisions related to the powers provided for in the Customs Law stays valid just as, according to this article, the legal provisions that do not conflict with this law concerning the investigation of the offenses, its evidencing, pursuing and settled in everything that is related to the control over the import and export of merchandises. back to top

Professional Confidentiality

Every person, whose function, competence or authority, enables him to interfere in assessing or collecting the taxes, or in studying the objections related to it, shall comply with the professional confidentiality otherwise he will be prosecuted at offence according to article 579 of the Criminal Law.

The professional confidentiality shall not be opposed in lawsuits that affect the administration interests, or when the control or collection departments perform their administrative functions. back to top

Cases and Rules Governing the Direct Assessment of the Tax

In addition to the penalties provided for in, the tax authority can undertake the direct assessment of the tax in the following cases:

  1. If the taxable person does not submit the periodical tax return within the determined deadlines.
  2. If the taxable person does not comply with his obligations provided for in the law and regulations with regards to the duty to keep, handover and retain the records and accounting documents, and which hinders the tax authority from performing its functions related to inspection on these records.  
  3. If the taxable person does not issue an invoice, when it is mandatory, or in case he issues an invoice containing incorrect information.
  4. If the taxable person submitted an incorrect periodical tax return that does not reflect his real economic activity in the purpose of evading from the payment of the tax or getting an undue refund of the tax. The direct assessment of the tax due is performed on the basis of the assessed amounts regarding the transactions that occurred within a certain tax period. back to top

Collection of the Tax within the Lebanese Territory

  1. Rules of collection: The tax authority shall send the taxable person, who fails to pay the tax and the amounts due within the legal deadlines, a note that informs him to pay the tax within 15 days from the date of his notification. In case the taxable person fails to pay, the tax authority shall send him, by registered mail, a final personal warning, where he is requested to pay the amounts due within 15 days from the date of his notification. If the taxable person fails to pay after the end of the final warning deadline, this warning shall be stuck at the door of his residence or his establishment. The date of executing this procedure shall be deemed the date of his notification.
  2. Late payment penalty: In case the tax is not paid within the deadline of the periodical tax return, a penalty of 1.5 % per month of the tax due is charged starting the end of the tax payment deadline. The penalty is computed on the total of all taxes and penalties due. The fraction of a month is considered as a whole month. When the payment of the tax appears to be insufficient, as a result of the audit or the direct assessment procedure, then a penalty of 1.5 % per month of the unpaid amount and the linked penalties is legally chargeable starting the end of the tax payment deadline.
  3. Privilege right of the Treasury funds: The Treasury, with regards to the taxes, penalties and other amounts due to the State under this law, has a public privilege of first degree on all properties owned by the persons liable to tax, and a legal forced mortgage on all their immovable properties. Collection of the tax at import The rules and procedures specified in the customs legislation are applied to the collection of the tax at import. back to top

Other Special Cases

  1.  The taxable persons who perform cash businesses are entitled to apply for a special scheme concerning the design and the issuance of invoices.
  2. In order to prevent businesses from splitting and avoid the tax, the total turnover achieved by related persons who run or perform at the same time similar or related transactions or activities in different businesses or establishments shall be aggregated.
  3. Concerning the supplies of jewelry, the tax is charged on the total profit margin, and the value of the tax charged on the goods and services that are acquired for carrying out these supplies is not deductible. The details of application of this paragraph are regulated by a decree issued upon the proposal of the Minister of Finance.
  4. To compute the tax due by taxable persons who buy, in the course of the pursuance of their business, used goods from non-taxable persons in the purpose of reselling them, the tax included in the purchase price of these goods shall be extracted. back to top

STAMPS DUTY

Find a list of the stamp duties according to the different types of document where the stamps should be posted:

FISCAL STAMP FEES ON BUSINESS DOCUMENTS

Stamp duty must be paid on the following documents in LL:

Joint stock company constitution permit

1,000,000

Constitution permit for a factory, industrial or commercial business

750,000

Statements relating to foreign exchange, buying or selling

1,000

Bank guarantees or letter of guarantee

10,000

Personal or real guarantees, with the exception of land guarantees

10,000

Bills of lading or customs receipts

5,000

Official copies of the manifest

5,000

Certificate of, the origin of the goods

20,000

Copies of agreement to cash money

  • Specific
  • General

 

5,000

10,000

Registration of property title deeds

10,000

Receipt for money cashed

 

  • Bank statements 
  •  Receipts of goods

100

100

100

Receipts of cash, bills or share deposits

100

Invoices

100

Quittances or releases

10,000

General power of attorney

10,000

Specific power of attorney

5,000

Certificates of true copies of signature.

Under a1982 law, all contracts transferring shares, bonds, and Treasury bonds are exempt from stamp duty.

This exemption does not apply to the transfer of GDRs between Lebanese residents.

100


Tax Department

The Ministry of Finance’s Revenues Divisions:

  • Income tax department.
  • Built property tax department.
  • Value Added Tax department.
  • Inheritance tax department.
  • Indirect tax department. back to top

Procedures:

  • Calculate the tax due.
  • Tax can be paid at the bank using the ‘S1’ form.
  • Present copy of payment receipt to the Ministry of Finance. Copy can be sent through Liban post.

Lebanon Double Taxation Treaties

The government of Lebanon concludes agreements with 32 countries for the purpose of avoiding the double taxation and preventing from fiscal evasion with respect of taxes on icome between these countries.

These countries are:

Algeria- Armenia - Bahrain - Belarus - Bulgaria - Cuba - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Egypt - France - Gabon - Iran - Italy - Jordan - Kuwait - Malaysia- Malta - Morocco - Pakistan - Poland - Qatar - Romania - Russia - Senegal- Sudan - Sultanate of Oman - Syria - Tunisia - Turkey - U.A.E - Ukraine- Yemen.

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Last Update: 03 April 2012

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