Following a weeks-long strike by fabric merchants at the Tehran Bazaar, Ali Askari, the head of the Tax Revenue Organization, announced that the merchants have until September 22 to register for payment of the value added tax (VAT).

IRNA reports that Askari said Parliament’s Presiding Board and Economic Commission had requested a month’s extension, but that was declined because the deadline for registration had already been extended three times.

He said a meeting was held between the fabric merchants union and the parliamentary commission, where it was agreed that fabric wholesalers who should have been paying VAT since 2009 would not have to pay the fines levied against them. Despite the agreement, protests have continued, Askari said.

The Value Added Tax is currently set at four percent, but fabric merchants say poor economic conditions have made it difficult for them to charge and pay the tax.

They have also called for adequate training on how to register, charge and file the taxes. Now they are calling for a five-year delay in implementing the tax, and the protests that have been going on since last year have intensified, with the merchants refusing to open their stores in the Bazaar.

The fabric merchants have called for Parliament’s intervention, but Askari says the talks have reached an impasse and the tax laws must be implemented.