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2019.11.25 16:30

Tax on banks and retail chains may come in January, ruling party leader says

Paulius Viluckas, BNS2019.11.25 16:30

The leader of Lithuania's ruling Farmers and Greens Union expects new taxes on bank assets and major retail chains to be introduced in January. The Lithuanian parliament, Seimas, began hearings on next year's government spending budget on Monday.

The Farmers and Greens Union, the biggest party in the Seimas, suggests imposing a tax on major retailers' turnover. A similar retail tax in Poland has been challenged in EU courts.

“As to the bank and retail chain taxes, decisions are likely to be adopted, effective from January 1,” Ramūnas Karbauskis told reporters on Monday.

Critics of the proposed tax on major retailers' turnover have claimed it might be unconstitutional. However, Karbauskis does not believe Lithuania will have problems because of the tax whose legality is currently being examined by EU courts.

“There can be no harm, because this planed tax is the equivalent of Poland's decision,” he said.

Commenting on the planned expansion of the real estate tax, the Farmers and Greens leader said that properties valued over 150,000 euros are likely to be made subject to the levy, and not 100,000 euros as originally proposed.

The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance has proposed to tax the assets of banks, credit unions and other lenders worth over 300 million euros.

Critics say, however, that such a levy would lead to higher interest rates on loans.