Lebanon/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.5 Tax laws

When the Lebanese government adopted the VAT system, some of the features of the tax known as the "entertainment tax" changed. This tax is imposed by Lebanese law on movie theatres, theatres, nightclubs, and the other places where entertainment such as performances, music and dancing are offered by bands or groups such sport grounds, circuses, amusement parks, etc.

Decree 7333 issued 31/1/2002 specified in detail method of implementing the provisions of Law 379 of 2001 (VAT) pertaining to indirect exempted taxes.

Some articles in this law abrogate some provisions in Decree 66 of 1967 as follows:

Article 4
Entertainment Fee imposed by Decree 66 of 1967 and its amendments shall be cancelled and replaced by the VAT, and that is for all natural and legal persons subject, obligatory and optionally, to the tax.

The fee shall remains in place as regards the persons who do not fulfill the VAT conditions.

Article 5 
The 5% fee and entertainment tax shall be imposed on persons who are not subject to VAT, subject to the approval of the tax administration to revoke  their registration

While the previous decree known as the entertainment tax is a legislative decree No 66 issued in 5/8/1967 stipulates:

Article 1 
A tax under the name of "entertainment tax" shall be imposed on the places that offer regular or temporary entertainment pursuant to the provisions of this Decree.

Article 2 (amended by virtue of Law 409 of 1995, Law 490 of 1996 and Law 326 of 2001)
Places of entertainment shall be defined as follows:

Places that only offer live or recorded events (movie theatres, theatres, sport grounds, circuses, amusement parks, etc.).

Places that offer, in addition to entertainment (night clubs ,scenes, singing, dancing and music performed by bands), consumable products.

Places that offer customers personal entertainment (sea bathes, swimming pools, gambling facilities, skiing facilities, etc.).

Article 3

The tax shall be imposed based on real visiting expenses for the places mentioned in article 2 above, whether these expenses are entry fees, prices of consumer goods or services or personal entertainment charges regardless of collection method.

In case these expenses are not collected by investor, they shall be assessed by the competent financial department based on the average prices in the places concerned.

Article 4 (amended by virtue of Law 409 of 1995, Law 490 of 1996)
The tax imposed on visiting the places specified in articles 1,2 and 3 of article 2 of this Decree shall be determined according to the following rates:

  • 5% of subscription fees or entry tickets to the places specified in article 1.
  • 5% of total visiting expenses for the places that offer,  in addition to entertainment (scenes, singing, dancing and music performed by bands), consumable products.

Tax laws in Lebanon, pursuant to Directives 2302, P.1, dated 8 Dec. 2003, exempt books and similar prints, magazines and newspapers (exempted from VAT) from taxes.

Article 78 of Copyright Law (Law 75 of 1999) specifies the fees that shall be imposed on every depositor as follows:

Depository application may not be accepted unless attached with the value of the fee specified in this article.

The fees collected by the Copyright Department shall be as follows:

  • Deposition of a printed work: 50000 LL.
  • Deposition of a film, video or audio recording: 175000 LL.
  • Deposition of a daily or regular bulletin (for one year): 75000 LL.
  • Deposition of a picture, map, post card, photograph or daily or regular bulletin (quantity: 1): 25000 LL.
  • Deposition of any other material not mentioned above: 50000 LL.
  • Fees on composing a contract related to a deposition at the Department: 50000 LL.
  • Fee on a true copy of a registration certificate: 25000 LL.

The value added tax law exempted education and the following cultural commodities from the abovementioned fees: books and similar prints, i.e. means of circulation which depend on writing words and shapes using letters, pictures and drawings where the name of the author, the title of the printed material, the publisher name and address and the printing date is mentioned regardless of the content (educational, cultural, entertainment, guidance…etc ) especially religious, music and children books and excluding similar books and prints used for advertisement and publicity.

The exemption includes different magazines and newspapers issued regularly under a specific name for the public.

The exemption also includes manufacturing books including publishing, distribution and printing (paper and cardboard used in printing, newspaper rolls and plates and printing ink).

An overview of tax rates imposed on workers in the cultural sector compared to those imposed on activities and other institutions.

The Prime Minister’s office approved the draft law aiming to add the text of the Income Tax Act in order to exempt the film industry from 50% of Income Tax (27112014).

Chapter published: 07-04-2016