Full implementation of fiscalization helps fight the informal economy

Prishtina, September 7, 2021 – Completing the fiscalization process and monitoring its implementation is an important process in combating the informal economy and creating a level playing field for all companies. This was said during a joint forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo and the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce with the Director General of the Tax Administration of Kosovo and business representatives.

The Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Arian Zeka said that it is worrying that a large number of businesses continue to be tax-free despite the process beginning a long time ago. He also said that the informal economy has grown since the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic, while increasing fiscalization and consequently fighting the informal economy are important for creating conditions for a level playing field in the market.

The President of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce Berat Rukiqi stressed that members of business organizations constantly seek to address the issue of informality. He also added that the informal economy harms a healthy economy, so there should be cooperation between institutions, businesses and citizens to fight the informal economy.

The General Director of the Tax Administration of Kosovo, Ilir Murtezaj said that this is a critical topic for every country and not only for Kosovo. He added that the informal economy is a type of cancer for a healthy economy that is negatively affecting many industries as well as competition in the country. Over the last three years TAK has had support from international organizations to help with measuring the regular economy. TAK constantly requires businesses to meet tax obligations and works to raise awareness of the fulfillment of these obligations by businesses. During the pandemic TAK has seen large increases in fines and punitive measures for businesses, because of this TAK has proposed new measures to raise awareness. TAK is looking for the most efficient way to proceed towards fiscalization. Ilir Murtezaj stressed that there should be cooperation between TAK, businesses and citizens, to consolidate the fiscalization process. He appealed to citizens to always ask for the fiscal coupon to aid in this process.

Ruzhdi Zenelaj from Deloitte said that it is important to work on building the human and professional capacity of TAK to oversee the process of fiscalization and implementation of tax legislation in general.

Driton Krasniqi from the company Emona Group said that informality causes a lot of damage to businesses and that the reason for informality can be found in many areas of the economy. He added that small businesses tend to not declare due to a small foreseen profit that causes a lot of losses for the business in the long run as well as losses for the economy. He said informality has become a culture whereby businesses avoid tax obligations though there are more benefits from declaring and removing informality.

Valon Jahaj from the Association of Authorized Operators for Fiscal Equipment said that according to data from the Ministry of Finance it is estimated that over 10,000 companies are unfiscalized, while adding that recently there has been an increase in the number of companies providing fiscal equipment, but also attractive offers for non-fiscalized enterprises for equipment with cash registers.

Forum participants raised their concerns about the lack of information regarding the informal economy and the implementation of fiscalization.