In Azerbaijan, on January 1, 2001, a new tax code went into effect. Personal income rates remained the same, at rates ranging from 12–35%, as did the corporate tax rate, at 27%. However, as of 2005, the corporate rate was set at 24%. The revised depreciation schedule for corporate assets favors investments in high-tech equipment and oil and gas exploration. Depreciation rates are 10% a year for buildings, 25% a year for equipment and computers, 25% for geological and exploratory costs, and 20% a year for all other assets. However, accelerated depreciation is allowed for capital spending allocated for production purposes at twice the standard rates. Included in this are expenditures on the building of those facilities that are to be used in the actual manufacture of goods. The value-added tax (VAT) was reduced from 20% to 18%, while the property tax was raised from .5% to 1% of assessed value. A .05% Road Fund Tax on turnover was abolished, but there is a highway tax imposed on foreign-registered vehicles collected by customs authorities. There are payroll taxes paid by the employer amounting to 32%, 30% going to the Social Protection Fund, and 2% going to the Employment Fund. There are excise taxes, but excise paid for goods used in production can be off set against excise charged for the finished product. In 2001, total government revenue came to an estimated 21.4% of GDP, while total expenditures, including net lending, amounted to only 20% of GDP, producing a positive fiscal balance equal to 1.4% of GDP.
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