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Changes to Latvian legislation starting January 1st, 2015

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUSignificant changes to Latvian legislation will come into force starting January 1st, 2015. Here is a list of changes residents should keep in mind.

Larger minimum wage in the country: the size of minimum wage in Latvia is increased from EUR 320 to EUR 360.

Limits are lifted on social support: all limits instituted on sick leave, unemployment, maternity, paternity and parent support in 2009 are lifted.

Personal Income Tax reduced from 24% to 23%.

Tax benefits for children who work during the summer break. PIT benefits for dependants will be applied to children under the age of 19 who work during the summer break and receive taxed income.

State support for families will now depend on the number of children in a family: the state will now pay EUR 11.38 for the first, EUR 22.76 for the second and EUR 34.14 for the third and every consecutive child in a family.

Support for a wider range of children suffering from Coeliac disease. This form of support will now be available for children with disabilities and who are under the age of 19 and study at general or vocational education institutions full time and those who study at higher education institutions full time and are under the age of 24.

Weekend after the Song and Dance Celebration: the final day of the All-Latvian Song and Dance Celebration is set to become a holiday. If the final concert day falls on Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday as well.

Micro-enterprise tax set at 11%. Starting 2015, the rate of micro-enterprise tax will be set at 11% instead of 9%.

Officials are to provide detailed information about their income and property:

-State officials will have to provide detailed information in their official declarations regarding actual beneficiaries from third party owned or managed property, capital shares and other financial instruments.

Land tax payment will no longer be obligatory to pay. Owners whose property is located on land owned by other people will no longer have to compensate real estate tax payments for land.

Changes to Labour Law: new duties, responsibilities and rights for employees and employers starting from 2015. Changes will also apply to contents of job contracts and job adverts. Changes will be applied to days off for blood donors, vacation pay, labour and leisure time regulations as well as social protection of employees who breast-feed children.

Residents will now be able to select electricity providers. Starting with January 1st, 2015, Latvian households will be able to buy electricity on an open market. Poor families and families with many children will be provided with discounts.

Construction monitoring: construction processes of all public buildings are to be monitored by the State Construction Monitoring Bureau.

Changes for fishermen: fishing for personal consumption will only be allowed using fishing rods, not nets.

Starting with January 1st, 2015, information regarding debts of Latvian residents will be compiled in a special credit information bureau. Participation of enterprises and provision of information to this bureau will be entirely voluntary.

New regulations regarding courts of arbitration. January 1st, 2015, marks the entry into force of regulations regarding the formation and work of courts of arbitration. The Enterprise Register will handle registration of courts of arbitration on condition that there will be no fewer than ten constant judges. These courts are required to have appropriate premises, its own form of case system and personnel necessary to service visitors, as well as a website. Up until now, there had been more than 200 different courts of arbitration registered in Latvia, which was unreasonable when compared with other EU countries.

Supreme Court’s Criminal Case Chamber ceases to exist. As Latvia continues its path toward ‘clean court system’, the Supreme Court will only review criminal cases only as a form of cassation complaints starting from 2015. This step is aimed to increase the speed of courts’ work.

New state enterprises management system: new regulation comes into force in relation to management of state and municipal enterprises, their work, liquidation and management of capital shares.

Land management law: the new redaction of the existing law provides for specific regulations regarding management of state and municipal land. It also provides municipalities with an assessment option for unused or degraded territories, as reported by Saeima press-service.


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