Mirela Calugareanu, the president of ANAF, announced during the Tax & Law Conference hosted by Business Review the main changes in the policy of the fiscal agency for 2018.
When it comes to inspectors’ bonuses and the draft bill to link them to the amount of collected fines, she stated that new clear and transparent rules will be enforced for this category of public servants in a few months. Meanwhile, all ANAF employees will undergo fiscal training.
“We will not give stimulants/bonuses from fines. This would contradict prevention law. The purpose is to facilitate voluntary compliance and to develop an approach that is consistent with the realities of 2018. A project scheduled for the first quarter of this year is to develop a ‘school of taxes’ where our colleagues can train. We are working on a system to stimulate performance and you are welcome to become our partners and make suggestions,” the ANAF head said.
“Raising the level of expertise of ANAF employees will bring benefits. By the end of March the Ministry of Finance told its experts to create a working group to tackle the streamlining of the procedure of fiscal administration for companies. In this context, the approach must have two components: first, preventive measures and second, very firm and strict measures for those who try to elude the system,” Calugareanu said.
“Our goal is to allow our staff to relocate to other activities. We want to free increasingly more our staff, which was up until now involved in carrying out repetitive activities as well as the staff involved in finding solutions for litigation, provided that these activities are regulated in a different way. We want their number to drop and the reaction time to also decrease considerably,” Calugareanu added.
“In the upcoming two weeks, all of our employees will participate in a general training because they need to be able to explain to tax payers around the country – and also in the countryside and there we expect to encounter difficulties – because we must change the way in which taxes are perceived and paid,” Calugareanu added.
The fiscal inspections will have a different perspective, more based on negotiations.
“You already know that ANAF has started a type of preventive activities where we are based less on inspections. Instead, we perform partial inspections based on risk analyses. We look at the amounts declared and give a deadline for compliance instead of starting a general inspection. This allows us to cut our costs. Both us and the business environment feel the need for a dialogue in what regards the need to bring together all institutions involved in managing these realities. Because if we study the legal framework – the law does not provide a definition of tax evasion,” the ANAF head stressed.
Soon electronic garnishment will be lifted electronically
“There is a good news. The electronic garnishment on someone’s account is now possible and we made half a step ahead. We also had a deadline for the other half – lifting the electronic garnishment – and that stretched until July. But we have the presidential order now. That is why, we hope that within a month’s time to be able to perform the lifting of the electronic garnishment also electronically,” the ANAF head announced.
When more accounts are available, the ANAF will only put a levy on the amount required using one account only, if the amount is available there, she explained.
When it comes to bureaucracy, new measures are ready to be legalized.
“Those who know they must pay contributions know it is a challenge to obtain a rescheduling. The file one needs to submit in order to obtain a rescheduling of payments is very thick. It is necessary to identify guarantees from the company’s assets, third parties or other. In the future, a tax payer with financial obligations who does not have the possibility to pay them will be able to notify and make a payment schedule for a period of 6 months. They will not need to wait for approval from the tax body,” she said.
We want to create a Mediation Council
“We will have to collect all opinions of the business environment to see whether it is possible to implement a Mediation Council that will intervene in fiscal inspections and administration. During the fiscal inspection we have the stage of hearings. The purpose of this council would be to reconcile the tax payer and the tax body so that the first can’t challenge the latter in court. We are looking around to other countries for best practices and we have seen that other countries have such a thing – the UK, Poland. It will gather ANAF experts as well as representatives of the professional and the business environment. We are expecting a drop in the number of challenges and litigation,” she said.
The council will act after the final discussion. The reason for this is that we know, from experience, that in few cases the parties reconcile at this stage, Calugareanu explained.
There will be transparency regarding risk criteria
A new entity will be created within ANAF for reducing the amount of legal complaints sent by the institution to the courts.
“What does the ANAF do to support the collection of taxes? I already spoke about preventive measures and I can tell that they had a positive impact. The economic growth reflected in a 1.5 percent increase of payments towards the consolidated budget. The collection level in the first two months of 2018 is also looking good. But as a parallel measure, encouraging the voluntary conformation is important. We created within the ANAF the General Directorate for Risk Assessment – out of the need to create a risk profile of the contributor. And the risk profile will represent the element via which we will conduct the future interaction with the tax payer,” Calugareanu explained.
“This week we have a meeting with representatives of the business environment to discuss the topic of the VAT. We are open to discuss the parameters that we take into account when making a risk assessment.
We will continue to be transparent regarding the procedures and the risk criteria. We are in an advanced stage with the creation of the procedure for the prevention law. And we are taking a look at the good practice of other European countries. We want to assist, to prevent, because this is the way to increase voluntary compliance. For more tax payers to want to comply. All of our measure, those you can and those you cannot see are targeted at improving this. What we want is to free our staff from routine work and to re-channel their efforts to assist the tax payer,” she said.
Tax payers will receive a name and password to pay taxes online
Up to now the development of the online space for individuals was not one of ANAF’s priorities, Calugareanu said.
“That is because of the share this had in terms of tax collection. But we are planning to develop and adjust the way in which the private virtual space of private individuals is working. The same is still needed for companies. Just imagine that before all this data had to be put into the system by our employees and that involved a large volume of work and a possibility to make errors,” the ANAF head said.
The good news for taxpayers is that each one of them will receive access to the online platform.
“For this purpose, they will receive credentials – such as name and password. Every tax payer in the country will receive that in order to encourage and boost online tax payment. In the countryside as well we will promote that with the help of city halls. We will not make it compulsory starting this year but we will encourage that,” she announced.