49% of Ukrainian SMEs said they were inspected by a government body in 2015. These inspections took up to 14 days per year for a business on average, which means that businesses spent around 2 weeks of their operation time on dealing with the officials.
Despite Brexit, we are trying to move forward and keep working on other initiatives that would help European companies to expand their businesses. In June, I organised a breakfast debate with the European Internet Forum to discuss taxation in the digital economy.
Unified tax rules can hardly contribute to trade liberalisation. A diversity of tax systems is not a roadblock for free trade. Quite the opposite, differences in tax systems might serve as a stimulus to trade. Taxes constitute a significant share of costs and a large share of the price of factors of production, labour in particular.
Although many agree that tax competition is a healthy and natural economic process that drives economies, the EC now sees tax harmonization as an essential factor for the functioning of the single market. Together with the CCCTB initiative, the ATA Directive could be seen as a first step toward this harmonisation.
In late 2015 – early 2016, when the ABCA survey was conducted, Ukrainian small and medium businesses mostly assessed business climate in the country as neutral or negative. Only 6% of the polled SMEs believed that business climate was favorable.
The EC’s decision to start an in-depth investigation into Poland’s tax on the retail sector is undoubtedly right as this additional tax imposed on large stores is unjustified and harmful. It should be up to a consumer’s individual choice where to go shopping.
Economic slowdowns are always challenging for the state authorities. Expenditure cuts and search for new sources of income often lead to imperfect policy changes. In 2012, KGHM became a victim of a government’s hunt. As a result, the company was forced to pay a new silver and copper extraction tax.
Just a year after the topic of fiscal decentralization briefly entered the public debate in Bulgaria, the political volition for taking actual steps in this direction seems exhausted. The government stifles to a large extent the initiative of local authorities.