Syria/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.5 Tax laws

Decision no. 18/M.D

The first decision on exempting industrialists from paying taxes was issued in February, 2009 in case they provided financial support to a number of developmental, cultural, or medical projects related to the handicapped or orphanages[1]. On 17/10/2010, a publication was issued by the Ministry of Finance to the financial directorates in all the governorates. It set to have Syrian imports of artistic works and their different kinds to follow the executive regulations of the legislative decree No.15 for the year 2001 which is related to exempting Syrian imports from taxes. The ministry explained that the publication validity would be imposed on the costs of 2010 and after.

The former Minister of Culture, RiyadIsmat, had issued decision No.460 by which he granted huge financial simplifications to owners and investors of cinema theaters in Syria, as well as encouraging the opening of new theaters and renovating the old ones. This decision contains the executive regulations for imposing the principles of the legislative decree No.118, 22/9/2011. On 4/7/2013 the Syrian president passed law No. 16 for 2013 which was very concise:its first article stated that funding support for cinemas shall be discontinued wherever stated in laws and regulations.

The decision contained the exemption of custom fees on imported equipment, in addition to, the exemption of income tax for five years starting with the date of renovation of the existing cinema theater or the date of starting work in the new theaters. All the theaters were exempted from taxes and local administration fees in case of building new ones or renovating others.

Article (18 – 2) of the Syrian constitution for the year 2012 states that the tax system is built on fair foundations and that taxes should be ascending for achieving the principles of social equality and justice. This should be reflected, later, upon the tax assignment law and tax exemptions for the interest of reinforcing the private sector social responsibility towards development plans and projects of public benefit as well as having cultural projects blended in.

The law is observed as one of the most important decisions in the domain of cultural legislation. Cultural institutions and activists in domain of culture are working on promoting the law and putting it in force.

Taxes Imposed on Services and Cultural Goods

The tax on profits of industrial, trade and non-trade related professions and handicrafts (Category of taxpayers of real profits):

The following bodies are subject (in addition to a big number of industrial, trade, and non-trade handicrafts and professions) to the law of taxation on profits of industrial, trade, and non-trade handicrafts No.24 issued by the President on the 13
th of November, 2003.

  • Cinema halls, 1st class, according to the classification of the concerned financial bodies, after five years of their foundation or renovation.

  • Artistic production (movies, TV Series, commercials and similar products).

  • Distributors of the local and imported artistic production.

  • Investors of circus shows.

In addition to a number of cooperative association, cooperative establishments, and agricultural investors), persons who exercise the following professions are exempted from paying taxes: music composing, playing music, painting, sculpture.

Salaries and Wages Tax [2]


The taxation is applicable to artists of different categories, public servants, unionists, etc...

Law No.112 on Amendment of the Law of Incomes in the Syrian Province- Persons subject to Taxation:

Law No.112 was passed on the 11th of August, 1958 with the aim to identifying exemption on taxation as follows:

Exempted from paying the taxes on a permanent basis are:


  • Individuals exercising the following professions: Writing, playing, composing, drawing and sculpturing. However, exemption is conditioned for the works of sculpting as follows:

    For the work of statue sculpting, exemption is included in the artistic work, while it’s not for the other works that accompany sculpting in some cases like, building a cement or rock base for the statue, setting a fence to surround it, electrical wiring or others. Profits resulted from those works are subject to the assigning of income tax as they’re considered not related to the conception of statues being sculpted.

    Statues that are built using boxes and not sculpted are not considered in the exemption

    The exemption mentioned only includes the works done by an artist alone. However, when an artist establishes a foundation and gets others to help in doing the works, then the foundation is not covered by the exemption.   

  • Non profitable cooperative association – kindergartens, institutes and foundation houses of those with disabilities, Syrian welfare associations and their unions,  touristic exemptions, exemptions given to exhibitors in Damascus International Exhibition, works of exporting products of Syrian origin according to the principles of the legislative decree No.15 for 2001. (Syrian imports of different kinds of artistic works are included)


On 27/6/2013 the Ministry of Finance released operational instructions to law No.13 that amounted to adding 5% on taxes as well as direct and indirect fees for a period of three years for the rebuilding what had been destroyed due to the circumstances of the country[3]. The Director General of the General Commission for Taxes and Fees stated in an interview with Tishrin newspaper published 9/7/2013 that according to executive instructions of the law, the added percentage on taxes and direct and indirect fee for the duration of three years included the rate of proceeds from real estate tax, income tax from professions, industrial and commercial and non-commercial crafts, trade taxes, land value, empty lots, move and real estate registration, and fees for possession of weapons, irrigation and exit fees, environmental protection fees, General Security fees, car fees , extra fees for car registration, transfer of right of investment fees, and other direct fees.   

[1] Decision No. 18/M.O stipulating deducting some of the industrialists charges and expenditure on their annual net profits before cutting the taxes.

The Syrian Arab Republic, Presidency of the Cabinet, and the Cabinet.

Based on the provisions of law/41/, 2005, and especially article/12/, on the Legislative Decree No.40, 2005, on the Legislative Decree No.50, dated with the 11th of February, on the notification of Ministry of Finance No. 57/s/16/43/, dated with the 8th of February, 2009, and on what has been adopted at the session of the People Assembly held on the 3rd of February, 2009, decides the following:

Article 1: the following charges and expenditures are considered personal expenditures that might be deducted from the annual gross profits of the industrial taxpayers:

  1. Expenditures on training unemployed for gaining special skills that allow them to enter the Syrian labor market.
  2. Expenditures on the scientific research of a private facility or expenditures of researches carried out by universities, or research centers for the sole benefit of a certain sector be it through complete or partial funding.
  3. Expenditures on contribution to improving conditions of the public utilities: establishing a healthcare center, providing medical apparatus, and building schools, and kindergartens to be delivered to the Ministry of Education, contributing to financing developmental projects approved by the state.
  4. Expenditures on participating in conferences, domestic and foreign exhibitions relevant to work.
  5. Expenditures on capacity building and training courses of the facility personnel.
  6. Expenditures spent on centers of the disabled and orphanages including establishing or contributing in the establishment of new centers.
  7. Expenditures on purchasing and installing energy machines, including building electricity generating stations that use the alternative energy offered to one of the public bodies.
  8. Expenditures of purchasing and installing machines for fighting pollution in the area concerned or granting donations for purchasing parameters for detecting pollution rates in water and air for the benefit of a public body.
  9. Expenditures spent on afforest ration campaigns in the facility neighboring areas or leading to it, or in any other area.
  10.  Expenditures spent on the cultural activities to support culture.

Article 2
: The aforementioned personal expenditures in article /1/ are accepted within an average not exceeding 7% of the total declared net profits, on condition that these are documented by relevant bodies.

Article 3: The decision is to be published in the official gazette, and is applicable to tariffs of the year 2008 and after.

Damascus, on the 10th of February, 2009, Prime Minister, Mohammed NajiUttri



1. The salaries and wages tax is to be deducted from each individual receives a salary, wage or an allowance:

  1. From a private treasury if he is residing in Syria or if the paid sum of money was an allowance for services he/she offered.
  2. From a public treasury if he/she is residing in Syria or abroad.

2. Exempted from paying the  tax on Income and Wages are:

  1. The accredited ambassadors at the Syrian Arab Republic, the diplomatic corps, consuls, team of the diplomatic corps, and their foreign personnel on condition of reciprocity.
  2. Military men of the armed forces, policemen, and firemen.
  3. Personnel in charge of mosques and churches.
  4. Syrian and non-Syrian personnel working in the Syrian embassies.
  5. Pensions and family allowances granted, allowances of dismissing from employment, and all sums granted to the public servant after his period of service has ended.
  6. Allowances paid to personnel subject to physical damage due to labor accidents.
  7. Wages of housemaids.
  8. Bonuses granted by a resolution issued by the President.

3. The Tax System:

  1. the tax is to be deducted on the basis of profits per month
  2. the average of the tax is determined as follows:
  3. Legislative Decree number 42 of 2011
    1. 5% on the net income per month between the minimum exempted limit and 15000 SYP, and on every cut payment.
    2. 7% on the net income per month between 15001 and 20000 SYP.
    3. 9% of the net income between 20001 and 25000 SYP.
    4. 11% on the net income per month between 25001 and 30000 SYP.
    5. 13% on the net income per month between 30001 and 38000 SYP.
      1. 16% on the net income per month between 38001 and 50000 SYP.
      2. 19 % of the net income per month between 50001 and 75000 SYP.
      3. 22% on the net income per month exceeding 75000 SYP.
  4.  Article (2) amends article 69 of the law number 24 of 2003 wherein it becomes as follows:

A minimum amount exempt from tax on monthly income  of 10000 SYP        

  1. the tax is applicable to artists contracting with the public and private bodies, as well as other bodies and individuals who hire employees in return for an income, wage, allowance, or a bonus.


Chapter published: 06-05-2016