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ECONOMIC BRIEFS

VAT will change on January 1

The cabinet on October 21 approved an amendment to the Act on the value added tax (VAT), aimed at increasing 1998 state budget revenues by 2.2 billion Sk. The amendment is moving some items, mainly food (meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, corn, sugar) from the 23 percent tax bracket to 6 percent bracket. On the other hand, it increases VAT from 6 percent to 23 percent on other items, mainly services (telecommunications, financial and insurance sector, consulting).

The telecommunication services' increase alone will bring 1 billion Sk into the budget. All changes will come into force in January 1998. The government also increased the excise duty on tobacco from January 1, 1998, by an average of 4 Sk per large pack, which should bring an additional 1 billion Sk into the budget.

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