To help bring the public finance deficit below 3 percent of GDP, the government is considering re-introducing a inheritance tax that was abolished in 2004, Prime Minister Robert Fico and Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said in Brussels on April 25, the TASR newswire reported.
"In a period in which we're looking for every available euro, we view the inheritance tax as a legitimate instrument. Of course, there have to be limits so that it doesn't complicate the lives of people with ordinary incomes," Kažimír stated, as quoted by TASR, adding that a gift tax would have to be included in the law to prevent people from bypassing the inheritance tax.
The finance minister also stated that re-introducing an inheritance tax would affect people who acquired property in a shady way in the 1990s. Fico said that it is premature to speak about specific tax rates at the moment. He also defended the ideas presented by the government.
"If we accept the arguments that the inheritance tax isn't correct; that we can't raise taxes for banks because they'll transform them into charges [for customers]; that corporate income tax is unfair because economic growth will come to a standstill; that if we raise taxes on the rich they'll transfer it [their property] abroad; then there would be only one alternative: to increase VAT by 7 percent," said Fico, adding that this is not the way his government will go.
Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) chairman Richard Sulík told TASR that Smer’s plan to re-introduce the inheritance and gift tax is evidence that the governing party has no clue how to make good on its election promises, adding that the insolvable issue is how to provide social security for people while not plunging the country into deeper debt. Sulík added that he thinks Slovakia boasts one of the best tax systems in the world and Smer’s ideas will only lead to its destruction and a financial burden on ordinary citizens.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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26. Apr 2012 at 14:00