The Tax Administration has been given a modern and powerful tool, which enables a more advanced risk analysis, where inspectors, without having to perform field inspections, have real-time insight into the activities at each point of sale
At the beginning of her five-year mandate, Dragana Marković, Director of the Tax Administration of the Republic of Serbia, said that the implementation of comprehensive reform in the Tax Administration will be her absolute priority. Reforms and changes continued also through the implementation of the e-fiscalization model. This model is certainly the latest of its kind and it was preceded by the transition to new cash registers. At the same time, the Tax Administration warned of large fines if companies and small businesses failed to switch to the new model. The transition period is demanding and comprehensive. One of the main advantages of this model is that the business will be more economical and safer. In this interview, Ms Marković also spoke about the process of adjustment, control and collection of taxes, but also about the priorities of the Tax Administration in the coming period.
When it comes to e-fiscalization, the transitional period for businesses to adjust to this new model started on November 1st, 2021 and ended on April 30th, 2022. How did the process go and what were the biggest challenges associated with it?
By introducing e-fiscalization, a project of strategic importance for the Tax Administration, we, as a society, have made a step forward in fighting against the shadow economy and contributed to the better organization of the local community through compliance with regulations. All the Tax Administration’s resources have been engaged for months in order to implement this extremely important project successfully and on time. A quality support system for taxpayers has been established and technical support has been provided to all participants in the process of applying the new fiscalization model.
In addition to better control and collection of taxes, will e-fiscalization also bring other benefits?
Thanks to the new fiscalization model, the Tax Administration now has real-time data on the turnover that businesses have and these data are comparable in terms of the territory and industry, as well as in terms of the time of their issuance. Plus, we also have an insight into the average turnover. It is possible to easily compare the recorded turnover with the cash register receipts that the taxpayer has issued. The influx of data from fiscal cash registers ensures better risk analysis and easier detection of irregularities in the business of our taxpayers, but also it creates new ways to control the issuance of cash register receipts because the validity of these receipts can be checked by simply scanning the QR code on them.
Both the Tax Administration’s inspectors and shoppers can check the validity of the cash register receipt immediately after being handed over the receipt. On the other hand, thanks to e-fiscalization, taxpayers now have lower operating costs because the new model does require that cash registers should have two receipt rolls and the mandatory annual technical service. Also, GPRS and fiscal modules become unnecessary. The fiscalization process is simple.
To what extent will this new model, which introduces additional fiscal discipline, contribute to the fight against the shadow economy in all sectors?
The information on cash register receipts issued according to the new fiscalization model are merged in real-time at the Control Centre and are clearly visible to the Tax Administration. By processing the received data and applying analytical models of risk analysis, prerequisites for efficient monitoring and control of taxpayers who are prone to tax evasion have been met. At the same time, law-abiding taxpayers are spared unnecessary controls. In the Control Centre, with the help of large LED monitors, information about all businesses that use fiscal cash registers under the new fiscalization system is displayed in one place. This overview contains the smallest details, i.e. information generated in individual districts, cities, towns and streets and the exact location where taxpayers perform their registered business activity.
“Both the Tax Administration’s inspectors and shoppers can check the validity of the cash register receipt immediately after being handed over the receipt”
The Tax Administration has been given a modern and powerful tool, which enables a more advanced risk analysis, where inspectors, without having to perform field inspections, have real-time insight into the activities at each point of sale. Now, they can conduct targetted controls of taxpayers that are prone to tax evasion. In this way, we are continuing to fight against the shadow economy, as the new fiscalization model is a key lever in the fight against the shadow economy, which is damaging to all – the state, businesses and citizens alike. The new fiscalization model strongly facilitates operations of the entire economy and helps in the fight against unfair competition.
Where can individuals and companies find more information about all the segments, steps and advantages of e-fiscalization?
The Tax Administration’s official website – www.purs.gov.rs – contains all the necessary information on the new fiscalization model, including a list of models of fiscal cash registers approved for use in the Republic of Serbia. Taxpayers can get the required information about e-fiscalization by calling the Tax Administration’s Contact Centre (phone numbers 0700 700 007 and 011 331 01 11), or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, taxpayers can get information by going to specialized counters marked as ‘Vaš Poreznik’, which are located in all 37 branches of the Tax Administration and where taxpayers can directly communicate with tax clerks to obtain all the necessary information.
The Vaš Poreznik counters also have so-called Internet kiosks, where tax clerks will help taxpayers to file their tax returns online.
Tax administration officers also work on holidays, in order to help taxpayers to obtain a new fiscal cash register, if they haven’t done so already, and take over the security element. In that way, taxpayers will avoid legal sanctions, fines and misdemeanour charges, as well as eliminate the risk of their business being closed down due to non-compliance.
What have the amendments to the Law on Fiscalization brought Serbia in general, and what improvements do you expect to see?
The fact that we received over five million fiscal cash register receipts generated by the new fiscal devices daily before the deadline for the full implementation of the law expired, made us quite happy and has shown us that we are on the right path to establishing an effective control system. With the new Control Centre and all its resources, the Tax Administration is fully engaged and completely ready to cover the entire territory of Serbia and all taxpayers.
We would also like to remind taxpayers that the full implementation of the Law on Fiscalization implies the mandatory issuance of a fiscal cash register receipt with all the prescribed elements, containing a recognizable QR code, began on May 1, 2022. Taxpayers who do not comply with these legal regulations and do not issue valid fiscal cash register receipts after the set deadline will be sanctioned following the provisions of the Law on Fiscalization.
What are the Tax Administration’s priorities that you will work on in the coming period?
The Tax Administration’s primary task and priority are to collect public revenues, improve fiscal discipline and create a business environment so that each taxpayer voluntarily, at affordable costs, can fulfil their tax obligations, which then makes it possible for the state to finance public services used by all people in Serbia. We strive to constantly improve our business, developing our own and applying the best international experiences in our practice.
“With the new Control Centre and all its resources, the Tax Administration is fully engaged and completely ready to cover the entire territory of Serbia and all taxpayers”
We have also adopted a new 2021-2025 transformation programme, which stipulates three strategic goals for the Tax Administration. The first is to create new business processes and find an adequate information platform that will enable simpler and more efficient work, the second is to improve the quality of services we provide to all taxpayers and the third goal is to create a profile of a new tax officer who is known for their high-level professionalism and competence.
The purpose of our reform processes, which are currently in their expansion phase, is to trail the road that leads to achieving our ultimate goal – transforming the Republic of Serbia’s Tax Administration into a modern and efficient tax body, which facilitates sustainable and predictable public finances.