Since last year, the Tax Administration started sending relevant documents to taxpayers’ electronic mailboxes instead of by regular mail.
Now, if the proposed changes to the Procedure and Tax Administration Act are adopted by the Serbian parliament, taxpayers will also be able to request documents electronically from January 2021.
The problem is that the Tax Administration, almost as a rule, will respond and send all other documents electronically, and those taxpayers who are not used to checking their electronic mailboxes literally every day, risk missing the opportunity to file a complaint with the tax authorities.
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The law also states that taxpayers can also submit their requests in electronic format, through the Tax Administration’s web portal. And for citizens who have contacted the tax authorities in this way, they will respond to them electronically, without asking their consent. For citizens who continue to use paper documents, they will be sent to them by e-mail, if they agree.
However, tax advisors warn that the deadlines for taxpayers have been considerably shortened in this way, including those for appeals.
“Before last year’s amendments, tax documents were considered to have been handed over to the taxpayer when they got them physically or on the 15th day from the day of mailing,” explains Aleksandar Vasić, board member of the Association of Tax Advisers of Serbia.
“The 15-day-period starts from the 15th day. The 2019 amendments state that a tax document submitted electronically is considered to be delivered on the “day of publication on the Tax Administration portal”. If taxpayers do not check their electronic mailboxes every day, the deadlines are much shorter. If the document arrives in the afternoon, the taxpayer does not have the time to act on it and possibly appeal, so this procedure goes against his legal right”, said Vasic.
Tax advisors point out that this is a big problem for all taxpayers because nobody checks their electronic mailbox 365 days a year.
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