5.1.5 Tax laws
The Law on Value Added Tax (1995; translation does not include the latest amendments) stipulates a standard VAT rate of 22% (in 2009, VAT was increased by 3 percentage points from 18% to 21%; in 2011 – from 21 to 22%). A reduced rate of VAT at 12% applies to educational literature editions, as well as original literature editions, newspapers, magazines and periodicals (issued at least quarterly). Until 2009, the reduced VAT rate was 5%, until 2011 – 10%; moreover, it was applied to several other culture industry sectors, such as tourism and all types of book editions.
VAT is not imposed on theatre and circus performances, concerts and events organised by cultural institutions, library services, museums, exhibitions, zoo and botanical gardens, performances for children, performances of amateur arts groups and for charitable purposes; scientific research projects that are financed by public foundations, state or municipal budget or international organisations; remuneration received by the author for work and utilisation thereof, as well as remuneration received by a performer and a phonogram producer for neighbouring rights and utilisation thereof.
Cabinet Regulation No 292 (2004), relating to the Law on Value Added Tax - Procedures for the Application of Value Added Tax in Transactions relating to second-hand goods, Works of Art, Collectors' Items and Antiques, stipulates that a dealer has the right to choose the special procedures for the application of value added tax (the margin between the remuneration received by the dealer for the goods supplied to the purchaser and the purchase value shall be taxed) or the general procedures for the application of tax specified in the Law On Value Added Tax for the supply of the following goods:
The Law on Personal Income Tax (1994) determines income tax levels. The general rate is 25%, which concerns all wage earners, artists included.
It stipulates that income tax of 25% (until 2010, it was a reduced rate of 15%) is imposed on the income generated from authors' royalties.
Cabinet Regulation Number 899 on Procedures for the Application of the Norms of the Law On Personal Income Tax (by the Law on Personal Income Tax) stipulates that a taxpayer has the right to deduct from the amount of author's fees (royalty) the expenditures of the author of scientific, literary and artistic works, discoveries, inventions and industrial models related to the creation, publication, performance or other utilisation of the works in the following amount:
The Law on State Social Insurance (1998) determines the status of self-employed people, who earn their income by individual work (includes those who receive royalty - copyright or neighbouring rights remuneration). The total rate of social insurance payable is 35.09% (up to 2011 it was 33.09%) - 24.09% by the employer and 11% (until 2011 – 9%) by the employee. Regulations of the Council of Ministers each year determine the minimum amount of social insurance payments for self-employed persons.
The social security system has no special provisions for freelance or self-employed artists to pay their social security fees.
The Law on Enterprise Income Tax (1995) stipulates that the tax is 15% of taxable income. The tax shall not be imposed on Public organisations and Associations with a non-profit aim.
The expenses not directly related to economic activity are deducted from the tax. It includes social infrastructure facilities, such as educational, cultural, sports etc. institutions, the services of which are provided and rent is determined by prices which are lower than market prices, or free of charge.
In determining taxable income, the profit of a taxpayer shall be decreased by expenditures for the production of the mandatory copy, which in accordance with the Mandatory Copy Law, is supplied to the National Library of Latvia.
The Law on Enterprise Income Tax (1995) provides a Tax Rebate for Donors. Tax shall be reduced by 85 per cent of amounts donated to budget institutions, the state capital companies, which perform the state culture functions delegated by the Ministry of Culture, as well as societies and foundations registered in the Republic of Latvia, and religious organisations or the institutions thereof, to which the public benefit organisation status has been granted in accordance with the Public Benefit Organisations Law.
The total tax rebate in accordance with the provisions of this Section may not exceed 20 per cent of the total amount of tax.
The Public Benefit Organisation Law (2004) defines what is public benefit activity: it is an activity that provides a significant benefit to society or a part thereof, especially if it is directed towards charitable activities, protection of civil rights and human rights, development of civil society, education, science, culture and promotion of health and disease prophylaxis, support for sports, environmental protection, provision of assistance in cases of catastrophes and extraordinary situations, and raising the social welfare of society, especially for low-income and socially disadvantaged person groups.
Public benefit organisations have the right to receive tax rebates specified by law, and they shall have other rights specified by law.