On October 5th, the Albanian Investment Council held its second meeting at the premises of the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism Trade and Entrepreneurship, to discuss important issues such as the improvement on tax inspections and the new draft law on bankruptcy. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Economic Development, Arben Ahmetaj, who stressed that the Investment Council serves as a platform where businesses can submit their comments and can share their suggestions and concerns related to the fiscal package.
Prior to the Meeting, the Secretariat had prepared in close cooperation with business associations and based on the results of a survey it launched until mid-September, a paper on Tax Inspection with suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of this sensitive issue to the business.
Private companies acknowledge the significant measures undertaken recently by the Government, such as the new VAT Law and Customs Code, the new IT system, ongoing efforts for improvements on automatic VAT reimbursement rules and procedures, designing of the new tax audit risk model, etc. However, there are still serious concerns related to the sustainability and clarity of the legal framework, implementation of tax procedures, and professionalism of tax administration, transparency and timely information of the taxpayers on the frequent legislation changes. Especially, the non – prior consultation of these legislative amendments with the private sector was stressed out by Tirana Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Reference was made to the lack of involvement of the businesses in the last amendment of the Law on Tax Procedures.
Another important issue of the agenda was the new draft law on Bankruptcy. A presentation addressing novelties of the new draft was delivered by the experts of International Finance Corporation (IFC), directly involved in the improvement of this law. The draft law comes as a result of a persistent request of the businesses and the IC encourages the adoption of the draft in the Albanian Assembly in the short term. Upon approval and implementation of above recommendations, the Secretariat will liaise with Albanian Government for further action.
The Council is a platform set up by the Albanian authorities with the support from the EBRD to intensify the dialogue between the government and the private sector, improve the business climate and promote good governance. The work of the Council is supported by a Secretariat, an independent body of professionals selected and contracted by the EBRD to directly engage with the business community. The initial funding for the Secretariat is provided by Italy.
Source/photo credits: Albanian Investment Council