The Slovenia Times

Campaign against Shadow Economy Producing Results



For example, the Tax Administration (DURS) determined EUR 255.13m in additional taxable income based on audits in the first nine months of 2013, up from EUR 193.6m in the same period last year.

DURS also started more extensive cooperation with the Customs Administration in July, when Croatia entered the EU as the last of Slovenia's neighbours.

The software that allows erasure of issued bills from cash registers was prohibited in July, and tax inspectors are happy that the government intends to upgrade the system next year to expand the measure to all cash transactions.

"All activities of the tax and customs administrations are focused on one goal, which is to increase voluntary fulfilment of tax obligations. Our first findings is that a smaller number of violations is detected on the ground," Tjaša Naraločnik of DURS has told the STA.

The Market Inspectorate also was busy in 2013. Chief market inspector Andrejka Grlić noted that inspectors carried out a total of 2,171 inspections by 3 December and found 266 violations. Fines were issued in 170 cases.

The Market Inspectorate and the Labour Inspectorate, who watch over undeclared work and undeclared employment, respectively, are looking forward to the confirmation of the new relevant legislation, which was sent to parliament recently.

The changes, which are expected to enter into force in April 2014, will bring stiffer fines for violators, while the inspection of undeclared work on the ground will also be covered by the Customs Administration.

The Labour Inspectorate found a total of 752 violations of the relevant legislation this year, which is more than in 2012. They represented 7.8% of all violations in the field of labour relationships, according to chief labour inspector Nataša Trček.

According to her, the most violations were related to undeclared employment in the hospitality sector, construction, commerce and transport.

The Labour Inspectorate is looking forward to changes to the labour inspection law which introduces the institute of an expert assistant who will relieve inspectors of administrative tasks. The changes are expected to be adopted in the spring.

Agriculture and Environment Minister Dejan Židan, who heads the government's task force fighting grey economy, has told the STA in an interview that the positive effects of the first serious fight with grey economy could not be denied.

The work is however far from being over, because the fight against shadow economy must be the way of life, said Židan, who noted that grey economy in Slovenia represented 24% of the country's GDP, which is six percentage points above the EU average.

The measures are producing results, as the state collected in the third quarter of this year EUR 86m or 16.5% more VAT than in the same period last year. Since 1 July, the state has collected EUR 30m more than planned at the monthly level, Židan said.

He also noted that existing receipt books for hand-written receipts will be scrapped, and that limitations on cash transactions will be introduced in two phases. In the first phase, the limit will be reduced from EUR 15,000 to EUR 5,000, and an additional reduction to EUR 1,000 would then be considered.

The official conservative goal, envisaged in the national budget for 2014, is that the measures against shadow economy will bring an additional EUR 80m, but Židan is more ambitious. "I have to say that I will be disappointed if this figure is lower than EUR 200m."


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