Apothecary_smoking_pipe

People will stick with cigarettes, which, although more harmful than the alternative, will bring more taxes into the state coffers. After three years, tobacco tax increases are back on the table. In English, it is known as the “sin tax”. Similar to the tax on alcohol or beer. The public perceives these taxes as a way for consumers of addictive substances to ‘pay’ for their sins. The truth is that smokers pay a lot.

industrial-pollution

The cost of emissions reductions over the last two decades in the EU has been significant. In Slovakia alone, people pay hundreds of millions of euros a year to support renewable energy sources, with millions more going on insulation and boiler subsidies, or the development of electromobility. A significant part of the cost is hidden in higher prices for goods, as manufacturers have to buy emission allowances.

Old_Woman_Examining_a_Coin_by_a_Lantern_(Sight_or_Avarice),_Gerrit_van_Honthorst,_1623,_The_Kremer_Collection

Estonia, Latvia, and starting from this year Poland (partly) are taxing profits earned by companies only at the dividend payout time. Such a model promises to raise both domestic and foreign investment, and it can help the economy recover from the crisis more quickly. The opponents of this taxation system in Lithuania argue that various benefits, which alleviate the burden on business and encourage investment where it is most needed, are already in place.

Reymerswaele_Two_tax_collectors

The Ministry of Finance has undertaken a systematic review of tax benefits. This job will not be easy but it makes sense to look at tax benefits in difficult situations. At first glance, it might seem that there are not many tax benefits so they can be examined and sorted in one sitting. Sadly, this is not the case. There are many different benefits which are advantageous to some citizen groups but annoy the others.

Fig. 18 Rembrandt van Rijn, Moneychanger, 1627, oil on panel, 32 x 42 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, inv. no. 828D (Bredius 420) (artwork in the public domain)

In March 2020, under the pressure of a growing pandemic, we voluntarily shut down the economy for the first time to protect the lives of fellow citizens. Over the next twelve months, when the economy and the people have already been locked in a lockdown, we have managed to completely devastate the services segment, we have managed to devastate children in online education and, worst of all, we have not prevented a high number of deaths from COVID.