The Serbian authorities have already given freelancers too much freedom when it comes to payment of taxes and there is no room for new concessions, according to experts.
However, online workers are dissatisfied with what they have been offered by the government which includes suspension of sending tax notices for unpaid taxes and contributions to income received from abroad in the last five years, cancellation of interest, recognition of standard costs at the rate of 43% and rescheduling of payment of tax debt to 10 years.
This only applies to freelancers who actually make a living working online, while cryptocurrency traders and those who gamble online or rent short-stay apartments have to pay the full amount of the tax debt.
Sasa Randjelovic, a professor at the Faculty of Economics, says that this offer from the tax authorities puts those people who have not paid their taxes on time in a privileged position compared to all other Serbian citizens who have settled their obligations on time.
“It is wrong to talk about taxation of freelancers or hairdressers or pharmacists. We must talk about the taxation of income. You tax regardless of where the income is coming from. In this regard, even this offer seems to be more than generous. Otherwise, if the state authorities reduce the debt principal again, that would send out a negative message to regular taxpayers who are now in an unfavourable position because they paid their taxes on time,” says Randjelovic.
Aleksandar Stevanović, an economist, believes that recognizing 43% of standard costs for services is a rather generous concession from the state.
“It is something I would not refuse if I were a freelancer. Maybe the repayment period could still be negotiated because our goal is not for people to continue to work illegally, but for them to be a part of the system and pay taxes. Freelancers who did what the Tax Administration asked and paid taxes should not be a problem because there is a tax credit and that money would not be returned to them, but would be used to settle their future obligations,” Stevanovic explains and adds that it is not good that some freelancers are refusing to paying taxes and waiting for a better offer from the state.
This post is also available in: Italiano