Minimal wage increase, not labour pay system for workers of certain sectors and amendments to unemployment benefits – these and other major legislative changes will come into force in Latvia next year and will affect all Latvian residents, as stated by SEB bank economist Dainis Gaspuitis.
Minimal wages in 2017 will increase by EUR 10, from EUR 370 to EUR 380. Minimal wages are paid to 21.5% of all employed people in Latvia (171,300 people). Tax benefits for a single dependant will remain unchanged in 2017 – EUR 175.
Next year, there will also be a new pay system for police officers, court workers and prison administration officials. Funding will be increased for the continuation of the teachers’ pay reform and pension indexation.
Starting from 2017, PIT will no longer be applied to scholarships under EUR 280 a month. This applies to scholarships paid by businessmen or NGOs, as well as healthcare institutions paying students for practice.
Additional funding to be allocated for benefits. State support for families for the fourth and every next child will grow from EUR 34.14 to EUR 50.07.
Housing guarantee programme will continue in 2017. Its aim is helping families with children to receive state guaranteed loans to afford purchasing a home.
From 2017 onward, unemployment benefits will be paid only if the unemployed person had worked 12 months in a 16 month period. Until now it was necessary to work 9 months in a 12 month period.
It is also planned to introduce qualification period for sick leave benefit. The period will be three months instead of previous six month period.
Excise tax to be increased for tobacco products.
Natural resource tax rate to increase for single-use dishes and fresh water. Tax rate for tires to increase two times in comparison with the current rate.
Driving a car registered abroad will cost money. Tax depends on car use length – EUR 10 a day or EUR 1,000 a year.
Starting from 2017, it will no longer be necessary to pay registration tax. However, operation tax rate for cars released in 2009 or earlier will depend on CO2 emissions. In addition, transport operation tax rate will be set at EUR 300 for light vehicles fitted with engines whose capacity is larger than 3,500 cm3.
Monthly PIT rate will decline to EUR 60 in 2017. Maximum tax-free allowance in 2017 will be EUR 1,380. Annual taxable amount before which maximum annual non-taxable minimum is applied is EUR 4,800. The amount applied with minimal annual non-taxable minimum will be EUR 13,200 next year.
In 2017, transactions between private persons will be limited. If the amount in the transaction exceeds EUR 7,200, it has to be performed through a bank.
Micro-enterprise Tax rate will increase to 15% in 2017. Companies whose annual turnover does not exceed EUR 7,000, the tax rate will be 12%.