Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Tuesday that in August this year an additional 1.2 billion lei was collected to the national budget compared with the month of August 2014, namely approximately 250 million euro extra.
“There are realities that no one can deny in the collection area. (…) I want to let you know how the month of August 2015 looks like compared with August 2014, in the context of the Value-Added Tax reduction to 9 percent for foodstuffs, tourism services and all the other areas, the cut in structure fee from 1.5 percent to 1 percent, the increase in the contribution to the private pension pillar, and the 5-percent-cut in the social security contribution . (…) Therefore with four reduction measures for the budget in august 2015 we collected 1.2 billion lei more than in August 2014 (…),” Ponta pointed out at a press conference at the Government House.
He showed that the VAT revenue collected in August 2015, with a 9 percent level for foodstuffs from 24 percent, stood at 4.373 billion lei, as against 3.9 billion lei, namely by 400 million lei more.
“What I want to prove by these figures is the fact that the Romanian economy responds to these two stimuli, to a controlled reduction of fees and to an efficient activity of the ANAF [the National Agency for Fiscal Administration]. (…) We have increases [in collections], even if, in practice, there were cuts in all sectors, in excise duties, in customs fees, in social security contributions, which means the economy and the society respond positively to this thing,” said Ponta.
He added that the ANAF collection in the first 8 months of this year were 20 billion lei higher than in the first 8 months of 2012.
“In the first 8 months of 2012, ANAF collected 110 billion lei, in 2013 – 114 billion lei, in 2014 – 120 billion lei and in 2015 – 130 billion lei, in the context of a negative inflation at least for this year,” Ponta explained.
According to the prime minister, fiscal relaxation and ANAF reorganisation measures can be further taken, building on these results.
“We have more money in the budget for what represents a priority – and healthcare, education, public administration and co-funding already approved projects under partnership agreements and the European programmes certainly represent a priority. (…) I believe it is a very clear sign both for the Deputies’ Chamber and Romania’s President not only that the Tax Code is sustainable, but also that it is very likely, if we keep up this pace, that we can implement all the fiscal relaxation measures we planned, as soon as possible,” he said.
Ponta mentioned that on Tuesday he had a talk with representatives of the Coalition for Romania’s Development, who voiced their satisfaction with Parliament passing the new Fiscal Code.
“On the other hand, the call of the Coalition for Romania’s Development and of the business environment, in general, is that, as concrete data and economic realities prove right, we should try to move forward the coming into force of those provisions referring to the business environment that were postponed in the current text until January 2017,” said Ponta.
VAT refund within 15 days after reform of tax administration
Prime Minister Victor Ponta announced on Tuesday that the good financial and budget performances allow the continuation of the restructuring and modernization of the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF), so that the value-added tax to be refunded in maximum 15 days, as compared to 45 days currently.
“I have discussed with the Public Finances Minister and with the ANAF president, in collaboration with our international partners, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the World Bank, and I want to go further with the ANAF’s restructuring and modernization so that if we managed to refund the VAT from 180 days to only 45 days on the average currently, by the measures we discuss further and through the ANAF’s restructuring, the VAT refund will need 15 days at the most,” the prime minister asserted at the Victoria Palace.
He added that ANAF is also setting up a special Department for Enforcement.
Ponta mentioned that “the virtual private space has expanded (…) Practically, any individual tax-payer has the possibility – and we try to promote this – of accessing online their dues,” said the Government head.
According to him, the ANAF’s reorganization as an independent institution will implement of a pattern used by the United States and several European countries, with a Board appointed by Government, Parliament, President “with a type of stability capable to guarantee the implementation of the budget policies.”
“It’s a step towards modernization. There, Romania could collect large sums of money to the budget, with smaller taxes, and be competitive as compared to the region’s countries by increasing its exports and competitiveness,” the premier concluded.