In November 2016, the Albanian Parliament approved a large number of changes in one of the main laws regulating the activity of the Tax Authorities in the country, the Law on Tax Procedures. The amendments affected several aspects of the tax procedures and mainly focused on – among other issues – transparency, increase of the electronic communication between taxpayers and tax authorities, improvement of fiscal consequences for the passive taxpayers, deregistration procedures, facilitation of installment payments already provided for by the law, self-correction of the tax declarations and the appeal process.
As far as transparency is concerned, with the aim to guarantee a transparent and impartial tax administration, the latest changes to the law on tax procedure oblige the General Tax Director to make public any decision taken within 5 days of its issuing. This is to be applicable to decisions taxpayers request about the official position of the tax administration regarding law interpretation and implementation under the specific circumstances of the taxpayer. The taxpayer data are to be kept confidential.
Another step towards transparency is also the obligation of the General Tax Directorate to publish (on a 6 month basis) informative bulletins that will include final decisions of the Administrative Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Constitutional Court, regarding tax issues, in order to inform the taxpayers and to unify the practices.
An additional important change that the new law has introduced is the establishment of detailed and specific rules about the installment tax payments procedure. In case the tax payer faces financial difficulties which prevent him from paying the tax obligations in time, he is allowed to conclude an agreement for the payment through installments. The taxpayer must demonstrate the financial inability to pay in full the tax obligation, and show that despite the financial hamper, the company will be able to comply with its legal obligations in the future.
The installment payment agreement is done in writing, within 10 calendar days from the request submission. This agreement can be concluded only in case the taxpayer agrees to settle immediately at least 20% of the tax obligations, for which the agreement is concluded. The tax authorities can stipulate installment agreements on tax obligations regarding tax assessments performed under Article 68 of the Tax Procedure Law, or self-declared tax obligations, with the exception of tax obligations that are withheld by the taxpayer, including social and health insurances’ contributions. In case the tax authorities have initiated the compulsory collection of the tax obligations, the mortgage or any other legal enforcement on the assets of the taxpayer shall not be removed. However, the taxpayer that has concluded an installment agreement has the right to request the withdrawal of the order of bank accounts’ seizure. The initiation by the tax authorities of the mandatory auctions of the taxpayers’ assets, in order to achieve the legal enforcement of the tax obligations, impedes the conclusion of the installment agreement.
The installment payments’ is not a new provision, but the new law gives specific details making it more applicable in practice. If this method is applied at a large scale, it will help taxpayers which are in difficult financial situations and will increase the likelihood of tax obligation collection.
The amending law entered into force on the 1st of December 2016.
Dorina Asllani Ndreka,
T. + 355 (0) 42 248 548