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Should the approval of the Finance Law within constitutional deadlines be enough to presume that “the country is operating effectively”? Taxes and fees have increased by 10 to 46 times, while Lebanese citizens struggle to keep their heads above water.

Under the Finance Law, taxes on goods and services, the primary revenue source, are estimated at 141.4 billion Lebanese pounds, while taxes on profits and capital (such as interest, dividends, or capital gains) are estimated at around 21.4 billion pounds. Property tax projections stand at approximately 36 billion pounds, and taxes on trade and international exchanges are 32.8 billion pounds. Total tax revenues represent nearly 77% of the Treasury’s total income.

As for non-tax revenues, they are estimated at 65.3 billion pounds, primarily from the revenues of the Port of Beirut, estimated at 13.4 billion pounds, and those of Beirut Airport, valued at 7.1 billion pounds. Total non-tax revenues represent about 22% of the Treasury’s total income.

Overall, the need for sources of funding has increased because the 2024 budget has projected an increase in expenses of about 50%, from approximately 200 trillion pounds to around 300 trillion pounds. At the same time, the state has anticipated a 15% increase in its revenues in 2024 compared to those achieved in 2023, a figure unlikely to be reached in a country in crisis.

A Whimsical Exchange Rate

That being said, even though the parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee removed 35% of the articles from the budget proposal, amended 55%, and approved 10%, the exchange rate of the dollar against the pound remained problematic.

The full text refers to “the exchange rate determined by the Lebanese Central Bank (BDL) as the “competent authority to do so.” It remains unclear which rate will be used for calculating taxes and fees. Will it be at the rate of 15,000 pounds per dollar or 89,500 pounds?


Article 3 of Law No. 379 dated 14/12/2021 has been amended so that any individual or legal entity engaged in independent economic activity with turnover throughout one to four consecutive quarters equal to or exceeding five billion pounds is subject to a value-added tax (VAT) at a rate of 11%. In the prior law, the threshold for liability was one hundred million pounds. For those who wish to opt into the VAT system, their turnover must be equal to or exceed one billion pounds. In previous years, this figure was fifty million pounds.

Municipal Tax

The municipal tax is calculated based on the rental value of a property. The rental value, assessed or reassessed in 2022, is multiplied by ten for residential units and between 10 and 20 times for non-residential units, taking into account specific characteristics of the property.

Work Permits

The fee for issuing or renewing a work permit for a foreigner is 48,000,000 pounds for the first category, 33,000,000 pounds for the second category, 15,000,000 pounds for the third category, and 6,000,000 pounds for the fourth category. Syrian nationals are required to have a valid work permit, as stipulated in Article 38 of the Finance Law.

Traffic Law

Fines, as provided by Law No. 236 of 22/10/2012, are multiplied by ten, provided that the fine amount is not less than 250,000 pounds.

Profits Tax

Article 64 of the Finance Law has introduced a tax on the profits of commercial and non-commercial industrial professions as follows:

• 4% on profits subject to VAT below 540 million pounds.

• 7% on profits subject to VAT, between 540 million and 1.44 billion pounds.

• 12% on profits subject to VAT between 1.4 billion and 3.24 billion pounds.

• 16% on profits subject to VAT between 3.24 billion and 6.24 billion pounds.

• 21% on profits subject to VAT between 6.24 billion and 13.5 billion pounds.

• 25% on profits subject to VAT above 13.5 billion pounds.

• 17% on capital gains profits.

Salary Tax

The 2024 Finance Law has introduced an income tax on salaries according to the following percentages:

• 2% on salary up to 360,000,000 pounds (previously 6,000,000 pounds in 2022)

• 4% on salary exceeding 360,000,000 pounds but below 900,000,000 pounds.

• 7% on salary exceeding 900,000,000 pounds but below 1,800,000,000 pounds.

• 11% on salary exceeding 1,800,000,000 pounds but below 3,600,000,000 pounds.

• 15% on salary exceeding 3,600,000,000 pounds but below 7,200,000,000 pounds.

• 20% on salary exceeding 7,200,000,000 pounds but below 13,500,000,000 pounds.

• 25% on salary exceeding 13,500,000,000 pounds.

Airport Tax

The 2024 budget law introduced a departure tax known as the airport tax. 20% of the revenue from this tax is placed with the BDL in a fresh dollar account held by the state. These funds are allocated for the maintenance of airport facilities. The departure tax is distributed as follows:

• $35 for passengers traveling in Economy class

• $50 for passengers traveling in Business class

• $65 for travelers in First class

• $100 for travelers aboard a private jet or yacht


The tax on import authorization is 1,725,000 pounds, while both export and re-export taxes are 3,450,000 pounds each.

Power of Attorney and Patent

When the power of attorney involves a given amount, the tax will be 4 per thousand of the amount. As for the taxes related to the patent law and the law on the protection of intellectual, commercial, and industrial property, they have increased by 46 times. For example, the fee for registering a patent statement has risen from 50,000 pounds to 2,300,000 pounds.

Cancelled Taxes

The taxes that have been removed, as part of the budget proposal, are those intended to be imposed on recipients of currency exchange transactions exceeding $75,000 on the BDL platform, Sayrafa (estimated at $800 million), as well as on recipients of loan repayments denominated in dollars converted to Lebanese pounds.