On Tuesday, the Romanian Senate accepted by a majority vote the objections of President Klaus Iohannis regarding the law amending the tax bill to exempt journalists’ income from personal income taxes. After considering the arguments of the President, the Committee for the Budget adopted a report in which they propose the rejection of the law.
The Romanian House of Representatives voted in a bill amending the tax law in February, which would have exempted from personal income taxes the income of journalists and radio and television technicians, including income from intellectual property. The initiators – the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP) – pointed out then that “the press in Romania is in a very difficult economic situation” and, consequently, “the media market is shrinking both in terms of operators and workforce.” For this reason, the initiators thought that it was necessary to promote special fiscal treatment of their income in regards to salaries and intellectual property rights.
However, President Klaus Iohannis has sent the draft back to the parliament for reconsideration. In his request, Iohannis stressed that when introducing a new type of tax or when adopting a new tax exemption, lawmakers must keep in mind minimum conditions, such as fairness, proportionality, rationalism and non-discrimination.
“In our opinion, an objective and socially and economically valid justification should serve as a base for every tax policy that introduces some differentiating procedure among the taxpayer categories,” Klaus Iohannis said. According to the President, it is not clear in the draft what kind of economic or social necessity or economic situation would justify the tax exemption for journalists.
Title image: According to the initiators of the law, the press in Romania is in a difficult economic situation. Photo: newsmaker.ro