Parafiscal fees still bother investors

In addition to various other forms of taxation, a large number of parafiscal fees are applied in Serbia which burden businesses and increase the effective burden on the economy, with a few of them being non-transparent and unjustified –  this is one of the conclusions of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), published in the 2023 White Book for 2023.

They add that parafiscal fees impose the payment of financial obligation for which no specific service, right or good is obtained (either none at all or in an inadequate proportion to the fee).

The reform of parafiscal fees commenced in late 2012 with the abolition of 138 of them and continued in 2013 with the passing of the Law on Fees for the Use of Public Goods and the adoption of its final version at the end of 2018.

However, as foreign investors state, in 2018 new parafiscal fees were imposed, such as the mandatory membership in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

In the previous year, the FIC says, no significant progress was made in this area.

Therefore, the Council recommends the local authorities to continue the reforms of the non-tax revenue system by abolishing all parafiscal fees that financially burden companies and for which they do not receive appropriate benefits in return, in the form of certain rights, services or goods, and simultaneously ensure the consistent application of the Law on Budget system that governs the basic principles of collection of public revenues that are not taxes.

It is necessary, as they point out, to adopt a Law on Fees which should regulate all fees charged for public services and determine their amount in accordance with the relevant methodology and the new Law on Local Government Financing, which a comprehensive analysis will precede.

“Any new tax burden or increase in existing ones should be previously announced to taxpayers and introduced through tax laws drafted by the Ministry of Finance, and not by government funds, agencies or other ministries,” the FIC states in its recommendations.

(eKapija, 23.11.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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