(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The finance ministry on Saturday announced that it has added more items to the list of goods and services exempted from sales tax or that are subject to a low tax rate.
According to the list, made available to The Jordan Times, the number of basic items and services was raised from 155 to 260, which, according to Minister of Finance Mohammad Abu Hammour, is aimed at alleviating tax burdens on people with limited income.
Last month, the ministry issued a list of 155 basic goods and services totally exempted from tax, or subject to 4 per cent tax, instead of the regular 16 per cent on other items.
The decision, which comes ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan, when demand on food peaks, will exempt 166 items that are consumed the most by people of low- or medium-income, in addition to lowering sales tax from 16 per cent to 4 per cent on 94 commodities.
Among the food items that will be exempted from tax are fresh dates, frozen chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes and others, while several commodities, preferred by Jordanians during the holy month, will be subject to sales tax of 4 per cent only, such as green wheat, dried dates, flour, dairy products, fish and fruits.
Products and services included in the previous lists, which are totally exempted from sales tax, include olive oil, rice, chickpeas, tea, sugar, corn flour and maize.
The lists also include certain services and production input items that will not be subject to sales tax, such as Islamic banking services, material for power generation or distribution, certain construction services, health insurance and sport training and education.
Abu Hammour noted that the lists, prepared by a special technical committee, are part of the government's tax reform programmes, adding that the move will contribute to enhancing living conditions for a large portion of society in addition to supporting local industries through exempting production input materials from sales tax.