The Ministry of Finance (MoF), has issued the here below Decision No. 193/1 dated 1/6/2020 published in the Official Gazette No. 25 dated 11/06/2020 defining the implementing provisions of article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003 modified by virtue of Laws No. 64/2017 (article 17), No.79/2018 (article 36) and No.144/2019 (article 31).
According to this Decision, are subject to the Income Tax Law and to the tax provided for by Chapter 3 of the said Law, interest and income from movable capital resulting from:
- 1- Creditor accounts opened with banks operating in Lebanon, including savings accounts.
- 2- Bank deposits and commitments regardless of their currency, including those belonging
to non-residents. Such commitments include particularly:
- Deposit certificates issued by the Banque du Liban.
- Deposit certificates and debt securities issued by banks operating in Lebanon.
- Loans granted to banks operating in Lebanon, including those held by the Banque du
- Documentary Credit insurance and guarantees.
- 3- Fiduciary accounts and investment portfolio management, including those established by virtue of Law No. 520 dated 6/6/1996 (development of the financial market and fiduciary contracts) or Law No. 234 dated 10 / 6/2000 (relating to the regulation of the financial intermediation profession)
- 4- Bonds and Debt securities issued by Lebanese Joint-Stock Companies.
- 5- Treasury Bonds in Lebanese currency, including those to which the Banque du Liban has
Thus, interest and income of movable capital derived by fiduciary accounts and investment portfolio management provided for in either clause 3 of paragraph 1 of article 51 of Law No. 497/2003 and its modifications, Laws No.520/1996 and No. 234 dated 10/6/2000, include inter alia the amounts resulting from the operations provided for in article 1 of the Law No. 520/1996 and article 2 of the Law No.234/2000 as well as the decisions rendered by the Central Bank (Banque du Liban) in this regard which are executed and implemented by banks, financial institutions and financial intermediation institutions for the benefit of their clients.
It should be noted in this regard that the following are exempted from the tax:
Debtor accounts opened with banks operating in Lebanon on behalf of the Lebanese Government, municipalities and public institutions.
Debtor accounts opened with banks operating in Lebanon on behalf of foreign diplomatic and consular missions.
Interbank deposits which constitute deposits whose term does not exceed 15 days as from the date of their deposit by the deposited bank with the depositary bank.
The adopted rates relating to the calculation of the tax of all net income subject to the tax of article 51 of Law No. 495/2003 are as follows:
7% until 07/31/2019 (included).
10% as from 08/01/2019 and until 07/31/2022 (included).
7% as from 08/01/2022.
However, income from movable capital which is not subject to the tax provided for in article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003 and its amendments remains subject to the general tax at the rate of 10% as provided by article 72 of the Income Tax Law. However, revenues falling within the scope of this article but derived abroad by a Lebanese resident will be assimilated to the revenues from foreign movable assets (proceeds from foreign shares and debentures) in compliance with the provisions of article 77 of the Income Tax Law and subject to the tax at the general rate of 10%. .
Interest and income from movable capital subject to the tax provided for in article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003 and its amendments belonging to taxpayers subject to the income tax on the basis of real profit, remain subject to the tax provided for in article 51. This tax is however deductible from the net profit but the revenue should be added to the profit of the company subject to corporate income tax.
Concerning interest and income from movable capital subject to the tax provided for in article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003 and its modifications belonging to taxpayers subject to the income tax on the basis of deemed profit taxation (lump sum profit) according to article 44 of the Income Tax Law, such interest and income will be subject to the tax provided for in the said article 44 (i.e. it is considered as part of the taxable income subject to deemed profit taxation) after the deduction of the paid tax.
It is to note however that in order to avoid double taxation, it has been set forth that, in the assumption that a tax has been already withheld at source on the investments of the fiduciary accounts and investment portfolio management, the revenues distributed by the said structures to the beneficiaries will not be taxed again as regards to the tax of article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003. Besides, it should be highlighted as well that no set-off or compensation may occur between the revenues subject of the aforesaid article and any realized loss on other investments and transactions of movable assets.
Before paying the interest and capital income subject to the tax provided for in article 51 of the Law No. 497/2003, all institutions are required to withhold the due tax, declare this tax and pay it to the Treasury within fifteen days following the end of the month during which the withholding tax was effected, under penalty of being held responsible for the unpaid amounts in addition to a penalty for late payment provided for by the Law on Tax Procedures.