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Dragan Drača, President Of The FIC Taxation Committee (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

No Progress Resolving Longstanding Tax Issues

Even though there was an absence of willingness for dialogue on the part of state bodies and the Task Force for the implementation of FIC White Book recommendations wasn’t active in the area of taxes, the FIC will continue advocating for the continuation of dialogue and the improvement of tax regulations

The lifting of epidemiological restrictions and restoring of regular business activities and topics in the first few months of this year saw a return to the fore of questions related to improving the tax system and resolving problems arising in practise, which have been outstanding issues for years.

However, the Government’s focus was on the new model of fiscalization and preparations to introduce the electronic delivery of VAT invoices, i.e., measures intended to strengthen the mechanism for reporting and controlling the fulfilling of tax obligations, with very modest improvements to tax laws and practises. New fiscalization and e-invoices represent a positive development that we expect to contribute to greater fiscal discipline, but also bring a host of new uncertainties and problems that should be solved during their implementation. It appears as though some questions that arise in relation to implementation – such as corrections to the VAT invoice through credit and debit notes, advanced VAT invoices and vouchers etc. – could have been anticipated and solved in a better way.

New fiscalization and e-invoices represent a positive development that we expect to contribute to greater fiscal discipline, but also bring a host of new uncertainties and problems that should be solved during their implementation

With regard to the other changes to tax regulations, I would like to mention the amendments to the Personal Income Tax Law, which introduce tax incentives and tax breaks for individuals directly engaged in research and development activities of employers operating in Serbia and for the hiring of certain categories of individuals. The Corporate Income Tax Law has not been amended, apart from the introduction of tax reliefs for a specific transaction of contributions in kind of intellectual property, in relation to IP tax incentives that were previously included in the tax law. The Law on VAT had a few minor amendments. Changes to the Law on Property Taxes were also very limited and mainly targeted sales of used motor vehicles, without significance for the majority of taxpayers. A new Free Trade Agreement with the UK came into force, so we’ve had another year without real progress in relation to a problem the FIC has been pointing out for years.

Unfortunately, there was a lack of willingness for dialogue on the part of the authorities and the Task Force tasked with implementing the recommendations contained in the FIC White Book was not active in the area of taxation. Nevertheless, the FIC will continue fighting for the continuation of the dialogue and the improvement of tax legislation and practise, along with greater transparency and the timely public presenting of planned amendments to tax laws. We will continue to fight for the most important problems from prior periods to be resolved as soon as possible, such as amendments to the Law on Property Taxes, the corporate income tax treatment of property measured at a fair value etc. Concurrently, we continue to advocate for the further modernisation of the Tax Administration and the completion of tax reforms.

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