Tax collection agency contradicts DNA chief prosecutor: It is profoundly unfair for ANAF to be singled out as the sole culprit for low recovery of tax liabilities

The size of damages incurred in courts cases built by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) where there were court judgements issued in 2014 is 150 million euros, instead of 300 million euros, and it is profoundly unfair for the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) to be singled out as the sole culprit for low recovery of tax liabilities, ANAF reported in a press statement to Agerpres on Friday.

Moreover, ANAF says out of the total liabilities of 150 million euros, 53.6 percent are irrecoverable for reasons that have nothing to do with ANAF, according to the agency’s report on the recovery of tax liabilities computed under final and binding court judgements released on April 8, 2015.

DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi said Thursday that the amount ANAF would have to recover under the court judgements issued in cases built by DNA would be 310 million euros, and that nothing has been done over the past eight months to recover the money.

On the other hand, ANAF says the low level of collection is the result of its being overloaded with recovering arrears and other amounts due to the national budget, which makes the available human resources very much outstretched.

“In 2014 alone, 26,253 new cases were processed that regard liabilities of RON 10.27 billion included in the credit. As of end-2014, there were 53,675 taxpayers undergoing bankruptcy managed by us that had tax liabilities of RON 47.3 billion,” reads the statement.

ANAF also complains about being vested with specific jurisdiction over the collection of money due not just to the national budget, but also to the state social security fund, the single national healthcare insurance fund, the unemployment insurance fund; after Romania’s accession to the European Union, ANAF was also tasked with collecting liabilities from the use of European funds and/or national matching funds. ANAF was also tasked with collecting the tax debt arising from various governmental programmes, while organisations partially or fully subsidised by the government that lack their own forced enforcement departments have to submit the enforceable deeds also to ANAF. The tax collection agency also has to recover by forced enforcement fines levied by various organisations that are paid into the national budget, such as the Competition Council, the National Roads and Motorways Corporation and the Regional Employment Inspectorate.

On the other hand, the procedures for the establishment of an agency to recover tax liabilities to operate under the authority of the Justice Ministry are incomplete.

Among the main causes for the low recovery of liabilities, ANAF mentioned significant delays in the submission to the local tax authorities of the final and binding criminal judgements entailing final recovery; a long time between the issuing of the criminal sentences by a first court and the sentence remaining final and binding and its enforcement, a period that in many instances the debtors alienate assets, and even failure by the criminal investigators to set up lien. Moreover, in some instances, final and binding sentences are communicated without being accompanied by documents attesting to a lien having been set up, which makes the enforcement impossible, says ANAF.

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