ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING

Ministry of Finance to open free VAT accounts, in lei; fee to be required for bank accounts

Economic operators will have free access to a VAT account denominated in lei, to be opened with the Treasury, as of January 1, 2018, based on the “split VAT” mechanism, representatives of the Ministry of Finance told a meeting with the press on Wednesday.

According to the said sources, this account will be accessed free of charge. The mechanism will be optional over October-November 2017 and will become mandatory on January 1, 2018.

The banks will automatically open accounts too, but they are to be closed after 90 days if unused.

On the other hand, in what the VAT account denominated in foreign currency is concerned, the economic operators will have to work with the banks, which will charge the same fees as charged for the current accounts.

The impact of the VAT split payment mechanism will bring 6 billion lei to the budget over 2018-2020, 2 billion per year. Moreover, the representatives of the institution also showed that there are some studies of impact conducted at National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) level in respect to this measure.

Gabriel Biris, a member of the Steering Committee of the Romanian Businessmen Association (AOAR) on Tuesday told a press conference that nobody has anything to gain from the VAT split payment, while also claiming that such a measure “would only do harm, with the person who adventured to make the proposal needing to disappear from the public area.”

“Not even the banks want this VAT account, for the costs are huge too, since they need to adjust their computer systems and remake their control procedures. There are costs involved. This is no free money, there are no free money for the banks involved. Nobody has anything to gain from this, not even the state, for the state blocks some of the contributor’s money, but not in the latter’s account. The money will be blocked in an account existing at the bank and the bank itself will not be entitled to use it. Such a measure can only do harm,” said Biris.

He also believes that the one who came with this proposal should disappear from the public space.

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