Latvija in brief - 2012-08-09

  • 2012-08-08

In order to ease the burden of tax debts taxpayers have run up due to the economic crisis, Saeima passed the Law on Tax Support Measures in its final reading on July 26, reports LETA. The law allows that taxpayers who have paid the principal tax debt amount and at least 10 percent of applicable penalties by a set date will be offered the opportunity to have the past due fee and penalties canceled in the amount of up to 90 percent, Saeima Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Janis Reirs (Unity) said. The law also stipulates that the tax debt discharge term, previously 18 months, will be increased to up to 60 months, depending on the amount of tax debts. The provisions of the new law will apply to companies that ran up their debts before Sept. 1, 2011. The tax support measures will apply to personal income tax, corporate income tax, value added tax, excise tax, customs tax, natural resources tax and property tax debts, as well as unpaid social contributions.

The Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) has recalculated population statistics for the period from Jan. 1, 2001 to Jan. 1, 2010, as well as produced migration statistics between 2000 and 2010, reports LETA. From Jan. 1, 2000 to Jan. 1, 2012, Latvia’s population dropped by 340,000 persons – by 211,400 due to migration and by 128,600 because of the death rate exceeding the birth rate. The most notable decrease was recorded in 2009 and 2010, when the population fell by 1.9 percent and 2.1 percent respectively. During these two years, due to migration and negative natural increase, Latvia’s population shrank by 84,400 persons. 2011 statistics do not indicate such a rapid decrease as in previous years – net migration is by 10,000 less than in 2010. Nevertheless, reduction in the population number due to natural movement and international migration (32,800) was the fourth highest indicator within the last 11 years.

Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) 1st Infantry Battalion Corporal Janis Voitkevics died at a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Aug. 1, reports LETA. The soldier’s health deteriorated on July 25 during a military exercise in a mountainous area in the country of Georgia. He was immediately transported to Gori Hospital for treatment, but on July 27 was transported to the military hospital in Germany. A special investigation into the death has been started by the NAF, after which compensation to the soldier’s family will be determined. Corporal Voitkevics had served in the National Armed Forces since 2006, and had received several awards for good service. Defense Minister Artis Pabriks and NAF commander, Major-General Raimonds Graube, have expressed their deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased soldier.

A total of 3,600 marriages were registered in Latvia in the first five months of the year, according to information from the Central Statistical Bureau, reports LETA. In January, 384 marriages were registered; in February 486; in March 480; in April 532; in May 593, and in June 1,125. In comparison, there were 3,275 marriages registered in Latvia in the first six months of last year.