Government passes changes to OUG 114: ROBOR rate replaced, greed tax softened, gas price cap removed for industrial consumers

Anca Alexe 29/03/2019 | 09:41

PM Viorica Dancila said at the beginning of Friday’s government meeting that changes to OUG 114 would be passed today though a new emergency ordinance, containing updates to several of the most controversial provisions of OUG 114, mostly related to banking, energy and private pensions.

In December 2018, the Romanian government introduced new fiscal regulation and taxes for banking, telecom, energy and the private pensions sector through OUG 114, which caused backlash from players in these markets and led to the decision that the government would pass another OUG to amend some of the most controversial provisions.

The bank asset tax will decrease from 1.2 to 0.4 percent, while the taxable base will exclude certain assets. According to Dancila, the tax will be calculated each semester by every bank. The payment deadline for the first semester is August 25, and any due tax returns will be processed by the same date of the following year.

“The calculation method for the annual asset tax to be paid by banks will be adjusted by limiting the taxable asset base, establishing differential tax rates based on market share, cutting the tax altogether when sufficient lending is provided for the non-governmental sector, and adjusting interest rates for deposits and loans,” said the PM.

The government will also replace the ROBOR rate with an index based on inter-bank transactions. The new rate will apply to new loans given out to the population and optionally to existing loans.

As for private pensions, the government will allow Pillar II fund administrators more time to fulfil new capital requirements by postponing the implementation date until May 31. New capital amounts must be paid by December 31.

In the energy sector, the PM said that gas price caps will be maintained for household consumers and producers supplying household heating centres, but will be removed for industrial consumers.

Thermal energy production plants that deliver to local central heating systems, as well as coal-based energy producers, no longer owe 2 percent of their annual turnover to ANRE – the contribution has been reduced to 0.2 percent of the turnover.

For the telecom industry, the new ordinance cancels a provision of OUG 114 that was called unconstitutional by companies it targeted, which read that “Suppliers of electronic comunications networks who sign contracts for installation, maintenance, repair, access works on properties without a right to access or a construction permit are sanctioned with fines of up to 10 percent of their turnover, proportionally with the number of users served without authorisation, respectively by one percentage points per every 100 users.”

 

On April 9, Business Review will organise the 17th edition of the Tax & Law Conference, our flagship event that offers a full perspective on the latest fiscal and legislation changes that impact the private sector. This year’s edition will focus on the raft of fiscal changes that address the telecom, energy and banking sectors, alongside the latest fiscal trends in the European Union that are also taking ground locally. 

 

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