June is the "Month of Paraficals" - let's get rid of unnecessary levies

The "Month of Paraficals" campaign started today with an invitation to citizens and businesses to nominate taxes, fees and other non-tax levies on the sites jpd.rs and parafiscals.rs, which burden them the most, consider them too high or pay double. The campaign was launched by Partner Solutions, KPMG, NALED and Mihajlo Pupin Institute as part of the Project “Parafiscal Reform Activity” funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project partners want to launch a dialogue on improving the system of collection of non-tax levies, and the reform in this area is necessary so that the businesses and citizens know what levies and why they pay them, and that the Ministry of Finance has better control over the revenues generated by users of public funds and how they determine the amount of fees and charges, but also to reduce the number of redundant levies that we call parafiscals - by integrating related or abolishing double fees for the same service.

In anticipation of the recommendations of the interested public, the initiators of the campaign remind that they have listed almost 1,200 non-tax levies at the national level alone, for which almost 150 billion dinars are allocated annually. As a key solution to the problem of a large number of levies and the unpredictability of the introduction of new ones, it is recommended to form a public register of non-tax leives, the preliminary version of which was prepared within the project.

- The public register would have a constitutive effect, which means that no fee or levy could be charged if it was not published in the register. The practical value of the register would be reflected in the fact that citizens and businesses would have an overview of all non-tax levies in one place, as well as information on the amounts, institutions that charge, the reason why they charge, payment account, etc. Each body that collects the fee would be responsible for updating the data, and the Ministry of Finance would have control over the register - says Jelena Bojović, Policy Director at NALED.

Bojović explains that in order to strengthen legal security and transparency, the Ministry of Finance could, only based on a complaint of businesses and citizens, take the initiative with the competent body if it is determined that the amount of duty is not in accordance with the prescribed methodology or the actual nature of duty is not well determined.

Republic non-tax levies are prescribed in almost 500 laws and bylaws, and it is similar at the level of cities and municipalities because local taxes are prescribed in more than 400 decisions. Due to the inconsistent application of the calculation methodology, significant differences in the amount of levies between local governments were recognized.

- The analysis of local administrative fees that we conducted in the selected 15 local governments showed that for the same request, 20 dinars should be set aside in one place, and 300 in another. In addition, it often happens that the same actions within one local government are charged differently. For example, a fee of 500 dinars is charged for a certificate used in the country, and if the same document is issued for use abroad, the service costs twice as much. That is why it is important to prescribe an adequate methodology for determining the amount of levies, that the amount corresponds to the actual costs of providing the service and thus ensure that they are collected fairly and evenly - said Milica Bisić, director of corporate affairs at KPMG.

During the campaign, three round tables are planned, with the businesses, business associations, local governments and other stakeholders. They will present analyzes of national and local non-tax levies, as well as initiatives for the regulation of non-tax levies in the field of environmental protection. The round tables will be an opportunity to discuss and gather proposals for reforming the non-tax revenue system in Serbia.

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