300 shopkeepers in Takhar

Taliban tax increases force 300 shops to close in Takhar

At least 300 shopkeepers have been forced to close down their shops after the Taliban Ministry of Finance tripled the business tax in Taloqan, the capital of the northeastern Takhar province.

Speaking to KabulNow, shopkeepers in Taloqan complained that the taxes levied on them have been increased three times since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021. “We cannot afford these increases. They are too heavy. We don’t have the stocks and assets to keep our shops open,” they said.

Abdul Hadi, a grocer in Taloqan, told KabulNow, that he had paid 3,120 AFN ($35) annually during the last government, which has been increased to 9,250 AFN ($105).

Another shopkeeper, Sulaiman, told KabulNow, that he will be closing his shop as he cannot afford the taxes, which means losing his family’s only source of income.

Another shopkeeper who didn’t want to be named, told KabulNow, that “my daily sales average between 500 to 1200 AFN ($5 to $13.5). The government should support me instead of overburdening me with high taxes. I cannot afford to pay the 21,350 AFN ($250) tax bill.

This is an “obvious cruel decision for me and other business people” and we call for its review, a shopkeeper told Kabul Now asking not to be named. “I have a daily sale range of 500 to 1,200 afghanis. Instead of supporting me, the government has imposed 21,350 afghanis tax on my occupation,” he said.

The Taloqan shopkeepers KabulNow spoke to said they will not reopen their shops unless the Taliban reversed its tax increases.