Tirana, 7 March 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
In Albania, the Constitutional Court has quashed eight articles of a bill that the left wing majority approved and which aimed at strengthening tax controls through hefty fines.
The court accepted the requests of the Association for the Protection of Merchants and Market to abrogate the bill “On tax procedures” in the articles which provided fines of up to 70 thousand euros for goods sold without receipt.
According to the Constitutional Court, these eight articles were against the Constitution. Earlier, this court had decided the suspension of the bill until its final judgment, which has just come out.
These are the fines that were abrogated
The fine on the address
Article 5 provides a fine for not changing the address of the place of business. According to this article, “Every taxpayer who exerts his activity through an undeclared address or an address which has not been updated, he shall be fined with up to 500 thousand ALL” (3500 euros).
Failure to declare employees
Article 14 provided fines and prison sentence in case workers were not declared. “If the inspection on site reveals that the taxpayer has not declared every new employee, at least one calendar day before the start of the work, besides paying tax on earning and national and health insurance, calculated from the day that this was identified, the taxpayer is fined with 500 thousand ALL”, (3500 euros) was provided in the abrogated article. “Also, if employees are still not declared after issuing the fine, then this shall be considered as tax evasion and tax administration exerts its right provided by article 131 of this bill by pressing criminal charges against the taxpayer”.
The failure to declare the real salary
“If the inspection reveals that the taxpayer has not declared the real salary of every employee besides paying tax on earning and national and health insurance, calculated from the day that this was identified, the taxpayer is fined with 500 thousand ALL”, (3500 euros) is provided by article 15. For any repeated case, taxation authorities could file criminal charges.
According to article 16/4, “The taxpayer who sells wholesale goods, who stores, uses or transports goods which are not accompanied with tax invoices, is issued a fine of up to 10 million ALL (70 thousand euros), all of his goods are seized and a tax revaluation of his incomes for a period of 6 months is made. In case this is repeated, criminal charges are pressed against him”.
The lack of tax invoice
According to article 18, the failure to issue a tax receipt or a VAT receipt by the taxpayer who sells wholesale goods, is given a fine equal to 100% of the tax amount due plus 10 million ALL and a reevaluation of incomes for a period of 6 months. If this violation was repeated, it was considered as tax evasion and criminal charges were filed by the offender.
The failure to list the sale prices
The sanctioning for the listing of sale prices is lifted. According to article 20, if a business failed to list the prices of goods or services, the fine that was issued amounted to 500 thousand ALL or 3500 euros.
Two articles, 17/1 and 17/2, which are now quashed, relate to the VAT receipt. The failure to issue a VAT receipt received a fine equal to 100% of the tax amount due, undeclared or unpaid as a result of the failure to issue the receipt plus a fine of 500 thousand ALL and a tax reevaluation of revenues for the past 6 months. In case this offense was repeated, then criminal charges could be filed.
The price list
The law also penalized with up to 500 thousand ALL all those businesses that didn’t hang in a visible place of the premises a list stating the right of the customer not to pay for the goods and service purchased. This obligation is also lifted. /ibna/