About 8,000 users registered so far in the Start-Up Nation program with about 3,000 business plans submitted, Minister for Business, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer told a specialist conference on Friday.
“I don’t say this is a good or a bad result. I was expecting more, but I must obviously take into consideration the fact that the political crisis set in just as the Start-Up Nation program was launched. The crisis was triggered just two days after the launch. A lot of people asked us if the program would be still implemented. We answered, and I am telling you too, that the implementation of the Start-Up Nation program carries on, talks on the budget adjustment have already begun and we asked for the maximum allocation. There is budget space and we have still two weeks to go for signing up,” Laufer said.
The Start-Up Nation program was activated on June 15 at 10:00 hrs, having an allocation of 1.7 billion lei from national budget sources and European funds; the maximum amount for one beneficiary is 200,000 lei.
Program enrollment is publicly open for 30 days starting June 15, 2017.
The main goal of the program is to stimulate the establishment of new small and medium-sized enterprises, to improve the start-ups’ economic performance and to facilitate their access to financing. This year, Start-Up Nation plans to fund 10,000 new businesses that will create at least 10,000 new jobs.
The first requirement for qualifying for the program is to have set up a trading company after January 1, 2017, and the second – having created at least one job that the entrepreneur should preserve for at least two years.
Businesses operating in Romania to keep separate VAT account as from Sept. 1
Businesses operating in Romania will have to keep a separate Value-Added Tax (VAT) account called Split VAT as from September 1 that will help the Romanian Government fight against VAT tax evasion, Minister for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer told a specialist conference on Friday.
“Another very important component that will come into force on September 1 regards the split VAT account. To all of you VAT payers: the Romanian Government wants to reduce VAT evasion, and over the past years the VAT collection rate has reached about 73-74 percent. That means we lose between 16 and 20 billion lei every year. There is a wish for a separate account called Split VAT to be created this year. You will have a working account for the VAT when you make acquisitions or payments, but you will not be allowed to take money out of that account. The money there will be frozen for VAT transfers to providers or the government. It is a very important step forward taken by other countries that will be introduced to the UK as well; it has been in operation in Poland of a short period of time,” said Laufer.
The SME National Council in partnership with the Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds on Friday organised a conference on funding for SMEs and social enterprises under operational programmes, with support from Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR).
The conference is designed to introduce financial instruments for SMEs and social enterprises under operational programmes and identify mechanisms to capitalise on them while focusing on the presentation of such financial instruments; the presentation of the EFSI instrument; good practices in capitalising on European funding opportunities; proposals and recommendations to increase the absorption of European funds, as well as presenting operational programme SME initiative.
“Considering extension of 5 pct VAT rate for below 120 sq metre apartments”
The authorities are considering extending the application of a reduced VAT rate of 5 pct for the purchase of apartments up to 120 square meters as well, and not just for those who are buying their first property, Minister for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer told a specialist conference on Friday.
“I want to give you some news on several changes in the governing programme. Firstly, we will expand the 5 pct VAT rate for the “First Home”. We want a 5 pct VAT rate for apartments of up to 120 square meters, but not just for those who have not owned a property before and who are buying their first property, but simply whoever wants to buy a second property of up to 120 sq metres can do it with a 5 pct VAT,” Laufer said.
Also, according to the minister, the income tax will drop from 16 pct at present, to 10 pct in 2018, and the level of contributions will drop to 35 pct from the current 39.25 pct, “meaning that for a net income of 100 euro, we now have a tax of 175 euro, the gross cost, and it will drop to 161 euro.”