Inspectors close 41% of facilities upon failure to issue receipts

During the last year, the Tax Administration inspectors temporarily closed 41% of the facilities they controlled due to the so-called non-recording of turnover through fiscal cash registers. Almost half of the 1,495 shops that were issued a work ban due to failure to issue fiscal receipts were catering facilities, and about a third are traders, according to the report on the work of the Tax Administration's Control Sector.

Avoiding to issue receipts is a very common form of shadow economy, as indicated by the high percentage of closed facilities in 2020 - 35% of the total number of controlled ones. The new system of fiscalization, which will be in full implementation from May 1 this year, could significantly change these statistics, because it will be incomparably easier for tax inspectors to detect irregularities.

- NALED's analysis showed that in addition to the existing 120,000 taxpayers, at least another 60,000 businessmen will have to acquire the fiscal cash register due to the expansion of the scope of fiscalization. This will be an additional challenge for the Tax Administration and its capacities. During the last year, 1,236 inspectors were available from the systematized 2,000 places, and only 660 for field controls. Digital fiscalization will help them be more efficient, and we believe that non-issuance of invoices will be reduced when unscrupulous caterers and traders realize that it is harder to avoid recording turnover - says the president of the Alliance for Fair Competition NALED Ivan Miletić.

New fiscal "cash registers" (the function of the cash register can also be taken by a mobile phone, tablet or computer) sends data to the server of the Tax Administration in real time, i.e. at the time of issuing the invoice. This will allow for the collection of a much larger amount of information than provided by the existing, technologically obsolete system, which sends data every 14 days. Greater volume and better quality of information will enable risk analysis, which will further ensure more effective focus of controls towards the most risky facilities, instead of door-to-door visits.

In Croatia, a similar model of fiscalization was introduced in 2013, and according to the data of their Tax Administration, in the first year of implementation, among 35,000 conducted inspections, they managed to identify irregularities in 17% of businesses. By 2019, the number of controls was reduced three times, but non-issuance of receipts was detected in as many as 64% of facilities, with a good selection of shops to be monitored.

The Croatian Tax Administration conducts controls by announcing to a certain sector (e.g. bakeries, traders, taxi drivers ...) that it will control how they issue receipts during a one-week period. Although they are correcting their behavior during those days, the real control actually took place a few weeks earlier when those same businesses did not know they were under supervision. By comparing the data, inspectors can easily detect differences in compliance. Also, the issuance of receipts is controlled by direct supervision in the taxpayer's premises, but also via mobile devices, checking the issued receipts in real time.

- The greatest benefits from the new system of fiscalization will primarily be experienced by responsible businesses, because more efficient control suppresses unfair competition, which gains an unfair advantage and reduces turnover by not issuing receipts. Also, consumers will benefit greatly because with the help of a unique code, they will be able to visit Tax Administration website and check immediately after the purchase whether they have been issued a correct fiscal receipt and protect their rights. Reporting violations is the best way to detect and sanction the shadow economy, and our latest research showed that only 18% of citizens are ready to report a facility where they do not receive a fiscal receipt, and we want to change that - Miletic points out.

With the introduction of eFiscalization, the Ministry of Finance has implemented one of the key recommendations of the National Program for Countering Shadow Economy. The costs of switching to the new system have been alleviated thanks to a subsidy of 100 euros per registered facility and 100 euros per cash register.

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