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Friday 24.05.2019 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone
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Latvia’s State Revenue Service to promote voluntary payments of taxes

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe new strategy of Latvia’s State Revenue Service for the next three years should be based on promotion of voluntary payment of taxes, not the increase of penalties, SRS director general Ieva Jaunzeme told journalists after a think tank organized for the creation of a new strategy.

«On Tuesday we’ve had the third brainstorming session in efforts to come up with a new strategy. This time SRS partners were invited to attend. I can see we’re all thinking in the same direction – we didn’t discuss repressive methods, but we did discuss ways of convincing more companies to work honestly and pay taxes normally. There is also the matter of productivity,» explains Jaunzeme.

She adds that all participants of the think tank admit that the current tax laws in Latvia are too complex and are often hard to interpret for taxpayers and SRS workers alike.

«One interesting proposal included adoption of a penalty point system, making so that companies are not penalized immediately – only after accumulation of a specific number of penalty points. We do have to keep in mind that businessmen are often disappointed when some of their dishonest competitors remain unpunished,» says Jaunzeme, adding that often SRS punishes companies that refuse to cooperate in prevention of violations, delay payments and are rude to SRS employees.

Jaunzeme also adds that the new strategy will not differ greatly from the previous one. The only major difference will be the focus on voluntary payment of taxes, simplification of taxes, as well as letting companies fix mistakes before getting punished for them.

Jānis Endziņš, chairman of Latvia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says that the main slogan for SRS should be – having more businesses capable of paying taxes.

«To promote tax revenue, we need to focus on making sure the country has more profitable businesses able to pay taxes. An ideal situation would be if by attracting an investor we are able to convince them that SRS is a welcoming and supporting of investors. Currently we are behind our Estonian colleagues in this matter,» says Endziņš.

He also adds that SRS is not the only state institution that influences how companies generally feel about taxes. This is why other services and institutions should be involved, as well.

Finance Ministry’s deputy state secretary for tax, customs and accounting affairs Ilmārs Šņucins says a new SRS strategy is planned to be finished in autumn this year.

«It is important to ensure feedback from SRS partners and make sure the processing of taxes is performed as easy as possible for SRS clients and SRS itself,» says Šņucins.

Continuing the work on SRS strategy for 2020-2022 at the think tank organized on Tuesday, experts participating in the think tank outlined a range of topical problems and possible solutions.

In the next three years SRS will work in four main strategic directions – maximizing tax revenue, applying a deterring penalty policy, improving communication and client satisfaction, as well as developing competences of workers and further improving work processes.

The think tank was attended by representatives of SRS development advisory council, LCCI, Latvian Employers’ Confederation, Foreign Investors Council in Latvia, Finance ministry, Economy Ministry, Latvian Association of Local Governments and Latvian Science Academy.


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