Tax evasion is damaging Kosovo’s economy

Tax evasion is damaging Kosovo’s economy

Pristina, 9 September 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Grey economy and tax evasion in Kosovo, especially in the northern part of the country, are still present.

Domestic and international officials have declared in several occasions that tax evasion in the country amounts to 33%.

Head of the Customs of Kosovo, Lulzim Rafuna says that with the placement of customs officers in the two border crossing points of Bernjak and Jarina, tax evasion has gone down significantly.

“In this part, which was once called ‘the black hole of smuggling’, tax evasion has gone down significantly. Customs of Kosovo in cooperation with other responsible authorities, are covering all alternative routes, in order to stop the entry of smuggled goods”, he said.

According to him, the level of informal economy has reduced in the entire territory of Kosovo.

On the other hand, economy experts say that fight against grey economy needs concrete action and not declarations.

The head of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Safet Gerxhaliu says that tax evasion is present in all of Kosovo. He says that the cause for all this has to do with the lack of the rule of law in the country.

“In a country where there is no rule of law, there can be corruption, bureaucracy, nepotism and above all, tax evasion. It’s true that in the recent years, we have been more focused on the north, but tax evasion is not only a phenomenon of the north, but also other parts of Kosovo”, he says.

Customs of Kosovo, Tax Administration and Police have signed a memorandum of cooperation in the fight against tax evasion. This memorandum aims at exchanging information between these institutions and offer support for each other in the fight against informal economy. /