Govt confirms package of tweaks reducing taxes on labour


The changes, which the government wants passed in fast-track procedure so they can enter into force with the start of 2020, affect laws on personal income tax, corporate income tax and on tax on profit from disposal of derivatives.

Speaking of a "new step towards tax optimisation", the government said that the "proposed measure will additionally reduce the burdens on labour, whereby we are strengthening competitiveness, preserving a stable economy and contributing to sustainable economic growth".

In general, the changes are designed to increase take-home pay, which will be achieved with a higher general tax credit that all taxpayers are entitled to, by EUR 200 to EUR 3,500.

In an effort to reduce the tax burden on the middle class, the tax rate will fall by one percentage point both in the second and third brackets, to 26% and 33%, respectively.

The rate for the fourth bracket remains 39%, while top earners will continue to be taxed at 50% – however the annual net taxable amount threshold for the top bracket is being raised by about EUR 9,000 to EUR 80,000.

The thresholds are in fact being raised for all the brackets. "We focused here especially on the first bracket," Finance Minister Andrej Bertconelj said after the government session, explaining the 16% rate will apply to those with an annual net taxable amount of up to EUR 8,500 as opposed to the current EUR 8,000.

"I would want us to do even more, but the public finances are unfortunately constraining us," Bertocnelj said, while announcing talks on additional tax relief that could be enforced in 2021. He mentioned the possibility to do more in the second and third brackets.

The tax cuts are estimated to be worth EUR 138 million, which will be offset partially by higher taxation of capital.

Capital gains will be taxed at 27.5%, up from the current rate of 25%, while the corporate income tax rate will remain at 19%, even though the initial plan had been 22%.

The government will on the other hand start enforcing a minimum 7% effective tax rate – after tax allowance for investments and coverage of past losses.

"The economy is cooling down, more so abroad than here, which is why caution is advised in this segment," Bertoncelj explained the preserved 19% corporate income tax rate.

The taxation of rental income will likewise be raised from 25% to 27.5%, but the default tax allowance, which automatically reduces taxable income, will rise to 15% from 10%.

Additional taxes on capital and the minimum 7% effective tax rate will increase receipts by an estimated EUR 64 million a year, while Bertoncelj also announced a series of so-called soft measures, primarily focused on tax evasion and fraud, which are expected to secure another EUR 74 million.

"Even if it turns to be a euro or two less, we needed to reduce the burden on labour in Slovenia," Bertoncelj said.

The opposition Left is against the confirmed tax tweaks package, labelling it as extremely anti-solidarity and anti-welfare, and saying that it will deepen economic divides and that the rich will benefit the most from the changes.

The cooperation agreement between the coalition and the left-wing party is, according to the Left's deputy group leader Matej Tašner Vatovec, "getting torn apart and trampled upon increasingly so", with merely one law being endorsed out of those listed in the agreement.