On Thursday, 1 March, in the first reading, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law on Taxes and Duties, which envisaged several kinds of relief and other advantages for entrepreneurs who conscientiously fulfil their responsibilities to the state.
The amendments call for the creation of a list of honest enterprises which is planned to be used in an in-depth cooperation programme aimed at developing closer and more efficient collaboration between tax payers and tax administration, reducing the administrative burden for enterprises and improving mutual relations among enterprises.
Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for the programme voluntarily, and they will have the right to take advantage of the offered relief and benefits – faster repayment of VAT, as well as simplified customs procedures without additional inspections. Furthermore, it is planned to provide entrepreneurs with personal tax consultants and timely information on potential tax payment risks.
Criteria for including an enterprise in the list will be business activity and regular payment of taxes; only enterprises for which an insolvency proceedings, legal protection or out-of-court legal protection proceedings have not been initiated will be eligible. Participants of the programme – officials of the enterprises – must not be suspects in criminal proceedings or convicted of a crime. Besides, the entrepreneurs must have no record of administrative penalties for violating tax rules, the employment or labour safety regulations.
Other criteria for being included into the list will be net turnover, amount of taxes paid, number of employees and their average gross salaries.
The decision on including an enterprise in the list will be taken by a special commission that will be a collegial consultative body. The Cabinet of Ministers will specify the criteria for membership in the programme, as well as the procedure for applying and considering applications. It will be possible to remove enterprises from the list for failure to comply with the criteria, for unsatisfactory economic performance and payment of taxes or, if as a legal entity, they carry out transactions with partners that suggest a high risk of tax evasion.
The list of honest enterprises will be publicly available. It will be drawn up by the Ministry of Finance. This initiative is viewed as a step toward combating the shadow economy and ensuring fair competition. It is planned to launch this programme of in-depth cooperation on 1 July this year.
Saeima Press Service