Poll tax likely to be abolished in fall

Ministry of SME, Trade and Business Environment, Constantin Nita said the introduction of poll tax is a temporary measure and that it could be abolished in fall, given the economic performance.
The Government passed the poll tax bill in mid April, enforceable for companies as of May 1. The tax is portioned based on annual revenues and due to be paid regardless to the companies’ profits or losses, measure which is expected to feed an additional 357 million lei to state budget this year.

However, for companies who start operating now and who temporarily suspend activity, the tax is fully dischargeable. The Government is likely to exempt from paying the poll tax the companies founded last year to access non-returnable funds for investment.
The minister said recently that the poll tax was an efficient measure to surface the grey economy.

“Over 200,000 companies in Romania don’t pay taxes. This is why the poll tax should be enforceable, but not as of this year, but maybe as of 2010, as it would completely sweep out SME’s perspectives in the wake of current market conditions”, said Nita.

The number of companies who suspended activity has risen by 1330.3% in April 2009 compared to April 2008, from 1.055 filings countrywide to 14,035, the National Trade Registry announced.

In April 1-April 30, 2009, 1,569 (514.4% more) companies have been voluntarily dissolved compared to 305 a year earlier.

Over 600 executives in Brasov “froze” their companies’ activities on poll tax concerns.

The American Chamber of Trade has requested the modification of fiscal code by introducing in the legislation a new fiscal year and the possibility for economic agents to benefit of tax refund within the legal framework.

The Government has introduced an annual head tax on turnover.

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