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The delegate minister for SMEs, Tourism and Business Environment, Maria Grapini announced Friday that the lump-sum tax might be enforced starting with the second half of the year, if the research about its impact will be completed in Q1.
“If not, then we cannot enforce it this year,” Grapini said in a press conference. According to the minister, the companies with small turnovers will not pay, and the tax will be differentiated between sectors. “It cannot be the same tax level for taxi drivers and hotels. Taxi drivers too will pay. We want to enforce the tax without distorting the market and bring ethics into business. All must pay. (…) Those who do not pay the lump-sum tax will be visited by the Fiscal Authority 15 times a year,” Grapini explained. In his turn, Mohammad Murad, president of the Federation of Romanian Tourism Employers, stated for Realitatea TV that the flat tax has the potential of pushing to the surface the tourism sector’s black market. “This tax is welcomed and has to be applied gradually,” Murad said. He pointed out that if the tax is small and can be paid it could have a beneficial effect on the market. “If I know I have to pay EUR 2,000 you should know I’ll pay it, I’ll become honest, fair,” Murad stated. Alin Burcea, the head of one of the largest tourism agencies in the country, stated that a fair application of the flat tax could even lower the expenditures of the companies concerned. On the other hand, there are analysts that consider that another tax does not help the economy at all. “The government has come to an interesting nit-pick. It doesn’t hike taxes, on the other hand it hikes their number, which is really stupid,” economist Florin Citu stated for ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ daily, pointing out that the economy is in a far too poor shape to bear this measure. Cristian Socol, one of Premier Ponta’s economic advisors, warns that any growth of taxation would worsen the economic situation. Likewise, economic analyst Marian Dusan warns that a new tax can only represent a brake for the economy. “We will never come out of the crisis and we will not stimulate the business environment with new taxes,” the analyst stated.The minister also mentioned that the law on insolvency will be modified this year, because it is challenged by many entrepreneurs. According to government sources, the changes brought to the law will aim at implementing stricter conditions for insolvency and shortening the duration of closing the procedure.