AMMAN — A recent policy brief titled, “Domestic Resource Mobilisation: A human rights-based approach to tackling inequalities” revealed that Jordan faces challenges with respect to the overall tax collection efficiency.

The joint policy brief, launched by the Economic and Social Council of Jordan (ESC) and the UN in Jordan, highlights the importance of mobilising the necessary resources to invest in economic, social and cultural rights, and restructuring public expenditure, in addition to reviewing the actions and measures required to improve the taxation regime in Jordan.

The brief said that around JD2.4 billion of accumulated, unpaid taxes have not been collected from previous years, of which JD1.1 billion is unpaid income tax and about JD1.3 billion is unpaid sales tax.

“Unpaid taxes accounted for 7.6 per cent of GDP in 2019, which equals 27.5 per cent of domestic revenues,” according to the 2019 annual report of the Income and Sales Tax Department.

Regarding foreign assistance and grants, the brief noted that foreign assistance, which comes with a set of conditions, can sometimes contribute to non-compliance with human rights obligations, as it leads to debt accumulation, eventually resulting in a higher burden of interest payments on public expenditure and less resources in the state budget.

Therefore, “ensuring that aid agreements are consistent with international human rights law and that they align with aid priorities,” should be considered a priority, the brief said.

The brief also showed that the current tax regime does not support fiscal policy in generating adequate revenue for government spending. The brief called for the establishment of a tax system that “achieves equality and social justice and supports fiscal policy through generating adequate revenues”.
According to the policy brief, the feeling of injustice is linked with social and economic conditions and the apparent differences in the standards of living in the Kingdom.

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